US shoots down pro-regime drone in Syria

A USA fighter jet Tuesday shot down an armed Iranian drone supporting Syrian government forces in southern Syria, marking the third American air-to-air shoot-down this month.

This is the latest incident in the skies over Syria, after the USA shot down a Syrian fighter plane on Sunday and another drone earlier this month.

The armed drone was determined to be a threat and was shot down by a U.S. Air Force F-15E after the drone "continued to advance on the Coalition position without diverting its course it was shot down".

The threat came after a U.S. Navy fighter aircraft shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday, an act that the Pentagon explained as a defensive measure to protect U.S. allies who are pressuring Islamic State in its stronghold of Raqqa.

The coalition statement said the location was close to where another "pro-regime" drone - which intelligence sources had also identified as Iranian - was shot down on June 8 after dropping bombs near coalition forces.

Australia on Tuesday temporarily suspended its air combat missions over Syria after Russian Federation threatened that it would treat any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates river as a potential target.

On Monday, a day after the downing of the Syrian plane, Russian Federation threatened aircraft from the US-led coalition in Syrian-controlled airspace and suspended a hotline meant to avoid collisions in retaliation for the downing.

On Sunday, June 18, the US F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down the Syrian aircraft, explaining its actions by the fact that the Su-22 dropped bombs on the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in the city of Raqqa, Syria.

The Syrian army said the "flagrant attack" would have "dangerous repercussions". "The U.S. must decide if it wants to continue to actively support its proxies in the Syria civil war".

Australia's military said it was temporarily halting air missions over Syria, following the shooting down of a Syrian jet by USA forces. Australia's military said Tuesday it was postponing air raid missions over Syria in reaction to the incident.

Similar to the US, Israel also has an agreement with Russian Federation to avoid conflicts over the skies of Syria.

Earlier, Syrian forces attacked coalition fighters in Ja'Din, wounding a number of fighters and driving them from the town.

American officials maintain there is no direct connection between the downing of the Syrian warplane and the Iranian missile strike on eastern Syria.

The US also has about 1,000 troops on the ground in Syria advising local fighters.

"An incident occurred, we have to work through the incident, we have a channel to be able to do that", he said.

  • Leroy Wright