United States fighter jet shoots down pro-Syrian-regime drone
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 8:54
But Russia, which has been propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, denounced the downing of the Syrian plane as "military aggression" from the U.S. and a violation of global law.
The U.S. -led anti-Daesh coalition has been training partner forces at a garrison located in at-Tanf, which sits on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The US-led worldwide coalition later confirmed the incident in a statement, saying the armed drone was downed "after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces" that "were manning an established combat outpost to the northeast of At Tanf where they are training and advising partner ground forces in the fight against ISIS".
Marine General Joseph Dunford said there were still communications between a United States air operations center in Qatar and Russian forces on the ground in Syria, adding: "We'll work diplomatically and military in the coming hours to re-establish deconfliction".
Its defense ministry said it plans to track joint coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates River and treat them as targets, officials said Monday. According to Washington sources, the jet had bombed USA -backed forces.
Syrian government forces and pro-government militias, which are supported by Russian Federation and Iran, are fighting rebel groups not aligned with the government and the Islamic State, the BBC News said.
A statement from Australia's Defense Ministry said it would monitor the "air situation in Syria" and make a decision on resuming airstrikes there "in due course".
Australia has six fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates that strike targets in Syria and Iraq.
Until recently, pro-regime forces were focused on fighting rebels in western Syria but victories in Aleppo and elsewhere have freed them up to move east, pushing them into contact with the SDF.
That took place near the Syrian city of Taqba, which has been the focus of fighting as US -sponsored ground forces advance Raqqa. The staunch USA ally in September said it would widen the scope of targets in the air war against IS by allowing its pilots to strike jihadist support and logistics resources in Iraq and Syria.
"And the Syrian regime and others in the regime need to understand that we will retain the right of self-defense, of coalition forces aligned against ISIS", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
One official said that the drone was shot down because it was "assessed to be a threat".
A close look at the map shows that pro-Assad troops have placed themselves in key locations in the anti-IS battle, while staying close to the USA -backed Kurdish forces who lead the ground offensive.
Russian Federation had warned Monday that it would track coalition aircraft in missions west of the Euphrates with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would down them. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians.