U.S. military shoots down Iranian-made drone in southern Syria

U.S. military shoots down Iranian-made drone in southern Syria

NY [U.S.], June 20: A U.S. F-15 fighter jet shot down an armed Iranian drone advancing on coalition forces in southern Syria near At Tanf, the US-led coalition said on Tuesday.

The ministry added that all aircraft of the US-led coalition in the area of its combat missions in Syria will be tracked by Russian forces as "air targets".

Carla Babb, the Pentagon correspondent for Voice of America (VOA) tweeted Tuesday saying the sources have confirmed that the Iranian-made drone shot down by the USA fighter jet was being operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

On several occasions in recent weeks, warplanes of the USA -led coalition have also struck pro-government forces to prevent them advancing from the Al Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria at a spot where the country's borders join Iraq and Jordan.

The US-led coalition in the Middle East is looking shaky after Australia suspended all air operations over Syria in the face of Russian threats and an escalation of tensions in the region.

USA forces Wednesday morning said a United States jet shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by Syrian government forces near Tanf, an outpost of the US-led coalition.

Russian Federation said Washington had failed to use the line - a vital incident-prevention tool - before targeting the plane near Raqqa. 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 Trump administration doesn't appear to have a strategy for that, but others clearly do - which helps to explain the incidents over the weekend in which the United States downed a Syrian government warplane, while Iran fired intermediate-range missiles from its territory at Islamic State targets in eastern Syria.

The missiles were apparently in response to an IS-claimed attack on the Iranian parliament earlier this month which killed more than a dozen people.

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A statement by the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the USA "atack was an attempt to undermine efforts of the army as the only effective force capable with its allies ... in fighting terrorism across its territory..."

A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Ramazan Sharif, said all six ballistic missiles hit their targets, citing "local sources" and drone footage.

"Given recent events, the coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to coalition and partnered forces", it said.

The Russian military also said it would stop using the "deconfliction" channel that was established to avoid conflicts as coalition and Russian warplanes operated in Syria's airspace.

In the latest confrontation between United States forces and those aligned with the Syrian government, the USA military claimed Tuesday to have shot down an allegedly armed Iranian-made drone in the war-ravaged country's southeast.

In a statement the Russian Defence Ministry said: "All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the global coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets".

The UK, another key coalition ally, said it would continue to take part in air operations despite Russia's warning.

A second USA official said the use of ballistic missiles may also have been intended as a signal that Iran remains committed to supporting Assad and a reminder that U.S. forces and bases in the region are within reach of Iranian missiles and ground forces.

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