U.S. says it downed Syrian warplane that attacked U.S.-backed fighters

FILE PHOTO: An F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on October 29, 2016. U.S. Navy/Seaman Weston A. Mohr/Handout/File Photo via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. warplane on Sunday shot down a Syrian military aircraft that dropped bombs near U.S.-backed fighters in Syria, the U.S. military said.

The U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying the plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces near Tabqah.

The Syrian army said earlier that the U.S.-led coalition shot down one of its planes during a combat mission against Islamic State militants. Washington is leading an alliance in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Peter Cooney