US would welcome effective Syrian effort to defeat IS

A USA jet has shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by forces backing the Syrian government in the south of the country, American officials say.

The US-led anti-ISIL coalition said an F-15E Strike Eagle jet destroyed the Shaheed-129 drone around 12.30am, north-east of the Al Tanaf garrison which is close to the Jordanian border.

"But will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat", the statement said. The statement added, the drone, "continued to advance on the Coalition position without diverting its course it was shot down".

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which include Arab and Kurdish fighters and are supported with air strikes by a US -led coalition, began an offensive two weeks ago to seize the northern city from Islamic State, which overran it in 2014.

The US-led coalition conducted what the Pentagon said was a "show of force" - a reported buzzing of the pro-government troops by jets - to stop the attack and then called the Syrian government's ally, Russia, to try to "de-escalate the situation and stop the firing".

"The Coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria", An OIR spokesman reiterated in a statement after a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22.

The U.S. on Sunday shot down a Syrian jet for the first time during the conflict near Raqqa after it dropped bombs near the U.S. -allied Syrian Democratic Forces, which are battling IS.

A B1 bomber accompanied by a South Korean fighter jet. The US military has also targeted pro-Syrian regime militias near At Tanf two other times since mid-May.

"Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the global coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia's air defences on and above ground", said Russia's defence ministry.

In Syria's complicated multi-sided conflict, Washington backs a coalition of rebel forces fighting both President Bashar al-Assad and Islamist militants, while Assad is backed by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militia. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians.

The U.S. military reports they have shot down an armed Syrian drone that was targeting American troops in Southeastern Syria.

Raising concerns over what he called "a risky escalation", the lawmaker said it wasn't in American interests to get involved in Syria's civil war.

Later on Tuesday, the coalition issued another statement confirming the killing of the self-proclaimed Grand Mufti of ISIS, Turki al-Binali who is originally from Bahrain.

Separately on Friday, a senior Russian lawmaker said Moscow is "nearly 100 percent" sure that the IS top leader was killed in a Russian airstrike last month.

"Air operations continue and de-confliction measures are ongoing", a United Kingdom government spokesperson said Tuesday. "The U.S. must decide if it wants to continue to actively support its proxies in the Syria civil war".

"The coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat ISIS in Syria poses globally. Given recent events, the Coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces", the coalition said.

On Tuesday, the Australian military said that it was temporarily suspending air operations over Syria "as a precautionary measure".

  • Leroy Wright