US Air Force shot down Syrian combat drone in southern Syria

Posted June 26, 2017

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

Two other times this month the us has shot down Iranian-made drones in southern Syria that were deemed to pose a threat to USA and partner forces.

As it tries to craft a Syria strategy, the Trump administration is divided between those who consider Islamic State the primary enemy and some officials who think the war in Syria is part of an existential struggle between the United States and its Gulf allies on the one hand and Iran on the other, said a third USA official, who has participated in government deliberations on Syria.

Tanf is the town on Syrian border with Jordan where United States troops are training Syrian rebels, officially described as "partner ground forces".

In an indirect reference to Iranian-backed forces that have been gathering in the eastern desert region, a US-led coalition statement cited a recent escalation of tensions and said it would not "tolerate any hostile intent and action of pro-regime forces".

The U.S. -led military coalition said in a statement that the shoot down occurred where another pro-regime drone dropped munitions on June 8 before it was also shot down.

Two days earlier, an American FA-18 shot down a Syrian SU-22 warplane that had dropped bombs near American-backed fighters combating the Islamic State.

Australia on Tuesday suspended its airstrikes against IS targets in Syria as a precaution, after Russian Federation announced it was suspending the hotline and warned the USA -led coalition not to fly over Syrian army positions west of the Euphrates River. That incident angered Russian Federation, which intervened in the Syrian civil war on Syria's behalf in 2015 and has a hotline with the U.S.to deconflict airspace and make sure their air forces don't collide mid-air.

The Russian military alleged that in Sunday's incident, "the command of the coalition forces did not use the established communication channel for preventing incidents in Syrian airspace".

Still, the Pentagon said it had not seen hostile action from Moscow.

The Australian Defense Force's name for its effort to fight ISIS is Operation OKRA. Among US coalition members, Australia is carrying out one of the highest levels of airstrikes in both countries, though naturally they are all far fewer than US strikes.

The many parties fighting in Syria have as many interests to advance, but they should realise that the Syrian conflict can not be settled through a military solution if stability is to last. "We continue to operate, making some adjustments for prudent measures", Davis said.

"If we know through the deconfliction line that there are going to be strikes and our forces are not in the area, that's how we want things to be", he said.

According to Washington sources, the jet had bombed USA -backed forces.