US forces shoot down Iranian drone over Syria as fighting escalates

Cheryl Sanders
June 25, 2017

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

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.

On Sunday, the USA shot down a Syrian plane that had dropped bombs near its ground-partnered Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) south of Tabqa about two hours after SDF fighters were wounded in an earlier attack by pro-Syrian regime forces in Ja'Din. "This is the same location where another pro-regime UAV dropped munitions near Coalition forces before it was shot down, June 8", the coalition said.

USA -led coalition forces had already set off a fresh round of controversy Sunday, shooting down a Syrian warplane that reportedly bombed nearby Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allied with the their fight against ISIS.

That incident flared long-simmering tension between the USA and Russian Federation, which backs Assad and declared over the weekend it would begin to target coalition aircraft if they stray into territory the regime seeks to control.

The Australian Defence Force said it had been "a precautionary measure to allow the coalition to assess the operational risk".

Tensions have run high since the US helped stand up a coalition garrison at At Tanf near the Syria-Iraq border, a key supply corridor that the Iranian and Syrian governments seem intent on securing.

"Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the worldwide 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.

Attacking a Syrian military target inside Syria eliminated the disconnect between forces the U.S. is targeting, and forces Russia's military are directly allied with.

Australia has deployed approximately 780 military personnel to fight against ISIS alongside the US-led coalition in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said officials are trying to re-establish the communications link to prevent potentially deadly accidents, and that the de-confliction efforts have worked well in the past.

The U.S. military has repeatedly warned forces fighting on Assad's side to stay away from a "deconfliction zone", agreed with Russian Federation, near a garrison used by U.S. Special Forces and U.S. -backed militia around Al-Tanf, near the border with Jordan.

"Dirty wings" is a military term used to describe a plane carrying armaments. He also said that the U, S, would work to keep the lines of communication open with Russian Federation.

"The US position militarily is weaker and any sign of a lack of unity within the global anti-ISIS coalition can only be good news for Russian Federation and the Syrian regime".

The previous Conservative government first deployed Aurora surveillance planes, a Polaris air-to-air refueller and six CF-18 fighter jets to participate in the US -led air campaign against ISIL in October 2014.

"And we have to understand what we're getting involved in, right".

The defense ministry on Friday said that Daesh this week has been moving forces into Hama province under cover of night and using large buildings there as command points and weapons stores.

Other reports by iNewsToday