U.S. shoots down another pro-regime drone in Syria

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

The US-led coalition said on Tuesday (June 20) it had shot down an armed "pro-Syrian regime" drone that had been bearing down on its forces near a garrison close to the border with Iraq in Syria's south-east.

It was an Iranian-made Shahed 129 and was thought to be armed and in firing range of USA troops.

The threat came after a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 on Sunday, an act that the Pentagon explained as a defensive measure to protect U.S. allies who are pressuring ISIS in its stronghold of Raqqa.

That drone was shot down after it dropped one of several weapons it was carrying near a position where coalition personnel are training and advising partner ground forces in the fight against ISIS.

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USA special operations forces have been training Syrian rebels at an outpost near al-Tanf Syria, close to Syria's border with Iraq and Jordan for the past few years.

Australia's military is suspending airstrikes it had been carrying out against ISIS as part of a USA -led coalition in Syria, one day after Russian Federation criticized the US downing of a Syrian warplane and threatened to target coalition aircraft in a wide swath of Syria.

The row prompted the Australian government to announce that it would "temporarily" halt its airstrikes in Syria.

In a statement, USA forces said the drone was sacked on after it "displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces", and a Western intelligence source said the so-called UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was Iranian.

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