The U.S. shooting down a Syrian fighter jet was a necessary show of strength in the face of Russian action in the Mideast, suggests Tom Rogan of Washington Examiner. Russia, Syria and other entities in the region are undermining the U.S.-led dislodging of ISIS because its presence benefits them. As long as ISIS persists, they can present the rest of the world with a choice between Assad and extremists, keeping the Syrian leader in power. Russia uses this narrative to label U.S.-backed groups that it bombs as ‘terrorists.’ By pushing back, the U.S. is cementing its foothold in the region, showing strength by standing up to Assad and Putin.
With no right to be in Syria to begin with, the U.S. downing of a Syrian fighter jet was a dreadful miscalculation, holds Daniel Larison of the American Conservative. This has reignited tensions with Russia, risking clashes with their forces. American and allied pilots now face increased danger when operating in the region, and fighting ISIS has become more complicated. The U.S. escalation of opposition to Assad and through him, Russia, doesn’t bode well for relations between the two Cold War-era enemies. Getting involved in Syria was a bad idea to begin with, and antagonizing Russia hurts the long-term security of the U.S.