Trump's Reckless Improvisation Risks Drawing the US Deeper Into Syrian War

THE RAAF has halted all air missions over Syria after Russian Federation warned it now considers Australian military jets a "target" and could shoot them down.

The pro-government forces are not fighting the battle for Raqqa, but they have been making ground against IS in the surrounding area, south-west of the city.

The two latest shoot downs, in addition to the one on June 8, has raised questions over whether the U.S.is getting drawn into a war with Russian Federation or Syria, rather than just with ISIS.

The decision came amid increasing tension between the United States and Russian Federation, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets", and halted a military hotline with Washington over the incident.

OIR said that that armed drone "displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces".

A Western intelligence source said it was "unquestionably Iranian".

USA -backed Syrian militias closed in on Islamic State's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa on Wednesday, taking territory on the south bank of the Euphrates River with the aim of encircling the city, a militia spokesman told Reuters.

The missiles were apparently in response to an IS-claimed attack on the Iranian parliament earlier this month which killed more than a dozen people.

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.

That incident followed two others involving United States fire against pro-regime forces on the ground as they came close to the garrison.

"There's no authorization for military force that Congress has passed that gives the president the ability to take military action against the Syrian regime", said the senator, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be the positions of Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a United Nations mandate.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard says all six ballistic missiles it launched at Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this week hit their targets.

The activist-run Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that government troops captured a hill west of the city and a former army base that was held by rebels.

Sharif told The Associated Press that the missile launch reflected Iran's "military power", though Iran has no intention of starting another war. The crisis quickly became a civil war, which has since left at least 400,000 people dead.

The push by Syrian government forces in the Daraa area appears headed for the Jordanian border, two weeks after Assad's troops reached the border with Iraq for the first time in years.

The aim is "to ensure that they can't easily be excluded, and that they remain on track to ultimately retake the entirety of the country", Heller said.

Washington also described those strikes as self-defence.

"As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased", a defence spokesman said in a statement yesterday.

Davis said the USA did not attempt to dissuade the drone from advancing through an established communications line with Russian Federation, which is allied to the Syrian government but does not have command of forces aligned with it, because "the incident emerged very quickly".

Coalition forces are using the Al-Tanaf base by Syria's borders with Jordan and Iraq to train anti-jihadist Syrian fighters and stage attacks against IS.

Meanwhile, US General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a day earlier that Washington was working to restore a "deconfliction" line with Moscow meant to avoid mid-air collisions over Syria.

On Sunday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had fired mid-range ground-to-ground missiles from a site in western Iran targeting "the headquarters and meeting place and suicide auto assembly line" of "IS terrorists" in Deir al-Zour province.

  • Leroy Wright