Syria conflict: US jet 'downs Iranian-made drone'
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 12:38
"When the armed UAV continued to advance on the Coalition position without diverting its course it was shot down". That incident flared long-simmering tension between the US 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.
Syrian military officers described it as a major achievement that boosts the coordination of border security between Iraq and Syria.
In a statement, the Syrian military described the downing of its plane as an act of "blatant aggression" on the part of the United States and accused the U.S. of coordinating with ISIS. "You are not just fighting Bashar al-Assad", Murphy said.
The Iranian-made Shaheed-129 drone was shot from the sky in the same location where another pro-regime drone dropped a dud bomb near coalition forces before it was shot down by an unidentified USA aircraft down on June 8, the US military operation fighting ISIS, Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), said in a statement.
"Over the last four weeks, the US has conducted three air strikes on pro-regime forces backed by Iran that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of Tanf in southwestern Syria, where there is a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS". A similar drone was shot down in the same location after it dropped munitions near coalition forces on June 8. Similarly, Iran has sent in proxy militias to fight on Assad's behalf but likely wouldn't dream of lining up their armed forces against the US's.
But their presence there has led to a series of confrontations with pro-regime forces, including on June 8 when a United States plane also downed a drone after it dropped munitions near Al-Tanaf.
The escalation of conflict in western Syria, where US forces shot down the Syrian plane, could potentially lead to a division between the eastern and western sides of the country, Mosser says, much as Germany was divided by the Berlin Wall when the USA and Russian Federation were in conflict after World War II. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dunford on Monday justified the shoot-down in legal terms, referencing the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force against al-Qaeda.
If Moscow is not bluffing, we could be headed for U.S.
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.
Australia has said it will resume its military air operations over Syria.
"There has been neither a Security Council decision, nor a request from the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic as a sovereign state", Russian Federation s Interfax news reported.
Tensions between regime forces and the coalition in At Tanf are high after several incidents in recent weeks.
The SDF now control four neighbourhoods in the city, and on Tuesday also advanced along its southern outskirts, moving closer to completely encircling Raqa.
Dunford said the U.S. has "worked through a number of issues" with Russian Federation and that the deconfliction link set up by both sides "has worked very well over the past eight months".