US fighter jet shoots down Syrian drone

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

"Australia is anxious about the suspension of the de-confliction line between Russian Federation and the United States as a result of the downing of the Syrian jet", said Chatham House's Khatib.

Earlier in June, an American F-15E downed an Iranian-made drone after it attacked American fighters in Syria.

"The Syrian regime ... needs to understand that we will keep the right of self-defense of coalition forces aligned against ISIS", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said. The Pentagon said the incident took place near a combat post in A-Tanf where US and coalition "advisers" are stationed in a support capacity to provide services to forces battling the Islamic State terrorist organization.

On Sunday, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 warplane shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had dropped bombs near Syrian opposition forces.

Compounding the problem, Russian Federation pledged to treat all USA aircraft in Syria west of the Euphrates river as "targets" that would be tracked by their aerial defense systems deployed inside the country.

Russia disputed claims that its aircraft was at fault during the encounter and said it intercepted two USA reconnaissance aircraft as they "approached the Russian state border". US warplanes launched three other airstrikes against the forces there. The incident took place in southern Syria near a base where the USA -led coalition was training Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group. It said it does not tolerate what it described as "the demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces" against the coalition forces and its partners in Syria.

It's the third air-to-air strike in less than two weeks as tensions continue to rise between U.S., Russian and Syrian forces.

It was shot down near Tanf, an outpost of the US-led coalition. The Iranian drone that was shot down Tuesday was outside of the deconfliction area, the official said.

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Russia's warning came after U.S. planes shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday.

The US military said there were no signs on Monday that the "deconfliction" channel had been suspended and that they were keen to defuse tensions.

After that the Syrian jet was shot down by the United States warplanes.

The defence forces are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria, the department said, and they will decide on the resumption of air operations in Syria in due course.

The U.S. military said it is not at war with the Assad regime, but is taking defensive actions to protect the U.S. -backed Syrian Defense Force (SDF).

In this picture released by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency on Monday, June 19, 2017, a missile is fired from city of Kermanshah in western Iran targeting the Islamic State group in Syria.

USA forces tangled earlier this month with Syria-allied aircraft in the region.

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