US Says Iranian-Made Drone Shot Down in Syria

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

The downing of the drone came on the same day Australia announced it would temporarily suspended airstrikes by its forces in Syria after a us fighter jet shot down a Syrian jet, and Syrian ally Russian Federation threatened to target planes from the USA -led coalition operating in the skies over Syria.

A US F-15E fighter jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone near At Tanf, Syria, on Monday, two USA officials told CNN, the third downing of a pro-regime aircraft this month.

In a move that will fan tensions between Washington and Moscow, Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the U.S. downing of the jet.

The downing of the warplane — the first time in the six-year conflict that the USA has shot down a Syrian jet — came amid another first: Iran fired several ballistic missiles Sunday night at IS positions in eastern Syria in what it said was a message to archrival Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The US said it shot down the plane to defend the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a rebel group which is fighting ISIS on the outskirts of Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold in northeast Syria.

"We have agreed in the past, that is we and the Russian Federation pro-regime forces, that operations that the coalition were conducting in Syria were effectively degrading ISIS capability, and will work to restore that de-confliction chain in the next few hours", Dunford said.

CENTCOM announced that a US F-15 Strike Eagle shot down the Shaheed-129 UAV in the early morning near At Tanf, where Coalition forces are training Syrian militias to battle the Islamic State.

In response, Russian Federation announced its air defenses would track all coalition targets west of the Euphrates, and suspend the "deconfliction" hotline.

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The Russian ministry of defense responded to Sunday's shooting by saying that it would suspend use of the de-confliction hotline with the USA -backed forces, reported CNN.

The border town has been a flashpoint of conflict between the coalition and "pro-regime forces" as they seek to advance east towards the Iraqi border.

Russia also stopped using a key "de-confliction" communication channel set up to avoid conflict between USA and Russian forces in Syria.

In the Syrian capital, Damascus, rebels fired artillery shells from the suburbs into the city, wounding at least three people, according to the state news agency SANA.

Earlier today, the United States military shot down its second unmanned areal vehicle over Syria in the past two weeks.

The US and Russian Federation, which has been providing air cover for Syria's President Bashar Assad since 2015 in his offensive against rebel groups, have a standing agreement that should prevent in-the-air incidents involving US and Russian Federation jets engaged in operations in Syria. Australia said its sorties in Iraq would continue as part of the coalition. This mechanism was established between the two countries shortly after Russian Federation began its involvement in Syria in late 2015.

They are believed to be a threat to coalition forces in the region, he has said.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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