US Shoots Down Pro-Assad Regime Drone In Syria

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

Australia on Tuesday suspended its airstrikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria as a precaution, after a US fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane earlier this week and Russian Federation warned the USA -led coalition from flying over Syrian army positions west of the Euphrates River.

Australia said it was suspending military flights over Syria two days after a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian jet near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

If, after the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, we are going to use USA power and leverage to solidify the position of Syrian rebels and Kurds, at the expense of Damascus, we could find ourselves in a collision with Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran and even Turkey.

The Syrian regime views the Kurdish forces as a potential threat to the country's sovereignty.

The White House said on Monday that coalition forces fighting ISIS militants in Syria retained the right to self-defence as Russian Federation warned it viewed any planes flying in its area of operations as potential targets.

The intercept lasted a few minutes.

"I, like you, saw in the open source some reporting from Moscow, which I won't address right now".

A USA military official told AFP the drone was "on a run toward our folks to drop a munition on them" and was shot down in self-defence.

The U.S. then deployed a truck-mounted missile system in Syria, showing that the U.S. military intends to protect itself.

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The U.S. military said its shootdown of the Syrian regime plane came after pro-regime forces attacked the SDF and drove them from a town needed to stage the fight for Raqqa.

After the three encounters, Assad's forces wheeled around and seized territory to the north all the way to the Iraqi border, leaving US forces and their allies largely isolated in the southeast and cutting off their path to the Islamic State group.

The U.S. Air Force considers the incident to be an unsafe intercept, Martin reports.

Dunford said the move was in self-defense and only after taking other actions.

One official said that the drone was shot down because it was "assessed to be a threat". The official says the drone was a Shaheed 129 and appeared to have been operated by "pro-regime" forces.

The intercepts come a day after relations between the United States and Russian Federation regarding the war in Syria became frayed, following the USA destruction of a Syrian government jet.

On June 6, the coalition "destroyed" pro-Syrian regime forces who had advanced beyond a de-confliction zone near At Tanf.

Meanwhile, the USA and Russian militaries swapped accusations about an unsafe intercept involving a US spy plane and a Russian fighter jet over the Baltic Sea.

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