US military shoots down Iranian-made drone in Syria

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 22, 2017

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.

CBS News correspondent David Martin reports the drone came too close to one of the outposts of us -backed fighters outside of their main base in Tanf.

On June 8, an F-15E Strike Eagle shot down another Shahed 129 after the drone released a munition on coalition forces patrolling near Tanf, where the United States maintains a training base.

"The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces", according to a statement issued by Operation Inherent Resolve, the USA -led coalition fighting ISIS.

"There has been neither a Security Council decision, nor a request from the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic as a sovereign state", Russia's Interfax news reported. A US-led coalition statement said: "The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat.The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated".

The downing also marks the fifth time since late May the us military has bombed pro-Syrian forces in southern Syria.

"It doesn't look like anyone now intends to deliberately escalate further, but when you've got these little skirmishes. the risk is that you can end up in an escalation by accident", said Sam Heller, a Syria expert at The Century Foundation. The Pentagon also described those strikes as self-defense. The truce was meant to be extended but now appears to have collapsed.

"The situation is back as it was in Daraa city and fighting is ongoing", said Daraa-based opposition activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh. Note that the official statement does not say the bombs were dropped on the SDF fighters but near them! The conflict quickly descended into a civil war, which has since left at least 400,000 people dead. It is still unclear what the missiles struck, and Iran has provided few details.

The U.S. military meanwhile confirmed Tuesday that top IS cleric Turki al-Binali was killed in a coalition airstrike on May 31, in Mayadeen, Syria.

The Syrian government forces' march toward the Jordanian border comes two weeks after they reached the border with Iraq for the first time in years.

Tuesday's statement from the global coalition stressed that the worldwide effort remained focused on ISIS but said that coalition forces had the right to self-defense. Also, Iran fired several ballistic missiles Sunday night at IS positions in eastern Syria.

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