US military shoots down Iranian-made drone in southern Syria

Lucy Bush
June 24, 2017

A U.S. warplane shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by pro-regime forces in Syria early Tuesday, officials said, prompting growing global concern over rising tensions between the two sides.

The incident came as Russian Federation once again protested against repeated US actions against forces allied with Syria and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the incidents could be "very dangerous" and cause an escalation of the war.

The US F-15E fighter (Strike Eagle) shot down the pro-governmental Shahed-129 drone of Iranian production near At Tanf, #Syria on Monday.

The U.S. -led coalition's actions were further complicated by Iran, which over the weekend launched strikes on ISIS targets in Eastern Syria - Iran's first missile strikes into the country.

In the latest incident, the Pentagon said a US F-15 aircraft flying over Syrian territory fired on the drone after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces.

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The downing came after the Syrian government's SU-22 jet dropped bombs near US-backed fighters combating Daesh.

Iranian-backed pro-Syrian regime forces are pushing forward on a number of fronts, and the United States is equally eager to resist what it sees as a widening of Iranian influence.

Davis noted Monday that most of the coalition's air operations occur east of the Euphrates, where ISIS has a larger presence, and that the USA has not seen behavior from Russian Federation that would "cause us concern".

"Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the global coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia's air defences on and above ground", said Russia's defence ministry. Moscow has accused the USA of not using the hotline to prevent the Raqqa incident.

The Australian Defense Force is fighting IS in both Syria and Iraq under the name 'Operation OKRA.' The force includes about 780 personnel, including 300 service members working in its air group.

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If others, including the Syrian government and its Iranian and Russian allies, want to fight the extremists as well, then "we absolutely have no problem with that", he said, speaking from Baghdad.

The U.S. also downed a Syrian government warplane earlier this week in northern Syria.

Australia will soon resume airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria after a temporary suspension due to threats against U.S. and coalition missions from Russian Federation. However, efforts led by support of a weak coalition of Iraq, Iran, Kurds, Turkey and numerous Syrian anti-Assad factions that is now nearing the ISIS "capital" of Raqqa appears to have ISIS near defeat.

The staunch USA ally in September said it would widen the scope of targets in the air war against IS by allowing its pilots to strike jihadist support and logistics resources in Iraq and Syria.

On several occasions in recent weeks, warplanes of the US-led coalition have also struck pro-regime forces to prevent them advancing from the Al Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria at a spot where the country's borders join Iraq and Jordan.

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The US military said that it will continue to shoot down "pro-regime aircraft" if they persist to pose a threat to coalition and allied militias.

Other reports by Info About Network

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