US says it shot down Iranian-made drone in Syria

Tabitha Dunn
June 21, 2017

Russian Federation on Monday warned it would track US-led coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets" and halted a military hotline with Washington after U.S. forces downed a Syrian jet.

The downing of the jet and Russia's response came as the US-led coalition and allied fighters battle to oust the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group from its Syrian bastion Raqa.

The US says an SU-22 operated by the Syrian regime was dropping bombs on the Syrian Democratic Forces when it was shot out of the sky by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet.

"Their course was on a run toward our folks to drop a munition on them".

The shooting of the drone came a day after the United States shot down a Syrian government fighter jet, ramping up tensions in the region and eliciting a threat from Russian Federation to treat USA aircraft as targets.

"The only actions that we have taken against pro-regime forces in Syria. have been in self-defense", Dunford said.

Moscow's threat comes after the USA downed a Syrian government military jet on Sunday.

Syrian military officers described it as a major achievement that boosts the coordination of border security between Iraq and Syria.

UNICEF said in a statement Tuesday that the donation on World Refugee Day will help it along with host countries to provide hundreds of thousands of children and young people with access to education, vocational training and psychological support. The drone shot down on June 20 was "just outside" the deconfliction zone, according to USA officials who spoke to CNN.

In the latest incident, the Iranian-made drone was flying near coalition forces, prompting the U.S.to deploy an F-15E fighter jet to shoot it down. Coalition aircraft stopped the pro-regime forces from advancing on Ja'Din.

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CENTCOM's statement that Syria had earlier attacked the "SDF-held town of Tabqa", and Damascus' reminder that it is still Syrian territory where the Americans are operating, may have played a role in Moscow's dramatic decision.

Fighting and bombardment meanwhile resumed early Tuesday between Syrian government forces and rebels in the southern city of Daraa and nearby areas, where a 48-hour truce had gone into effect on Saturday.

"I hope that the clear message of this attack will be understood by the terrorists as well as their regional and global supporters", said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace unit, according to the website of Iranian state television.

Daraa-based activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh says fighting is now underway in the city. Chris Murphy of CT warned Tuesday that the United States could be edging toward a military conflict with Iran and Russian Federation in Syria.

Russia's deputy foreign affairs minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the USA strike "has to be seen as a continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of worldwide law".

Sharif told The Associated Press that the missile launch reflected Iran's "military power", though Iran has no intention of starting another war.

The US-led global 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".

Russian Federation has moved nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, putting some European capitals in strike range.

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.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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