A U.S. F-15 fighter aircraft shot down an Iranian-made drone over southern Syria on Tuesday, the Defense Department said, marking the fifth time the us has attacked pro-Syrian government assets within a month.
US -led coalition forces had already set off a fresh round of controversy Sunday, shooting down a Syrian warplane that reportedly bombed nearby Syrian Democratic Forces, who are allied with the U.S.in their fight against ISIS.
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.
The drone was hit just outside the de-confliction zone that rings Al Tanf in southeastern Syria, where USA forces train rebels who are fighting Islamic State.
Tanf is the town on Syrian border with Jordan where U.S. troops are training Syrian rebels, officially described as "partner ground forces".More news: OnePlus 5 rumor round-up: a preview of the new flagship killer
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Moscow has condemned the US' downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears United States partner forces.
Meanwhile, in northern Syria, the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa is now under siege by coalition-backed Kurdish forces, who, like most of the militias supported by the USA -led coalition as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, are considered an enemy of the regime.
Russian Federation says it is waiting for the U.S.to explain its decision to shoot down a Syrian warplane. Israeli security officials said Monday they were studying the missile strike to see what they could learn about its accuracy and capabilities. The U.S. has conducted three airstrikes over the past month against those forces as they entered the deconfliction zone and moved towards At Tanf.
It later emerged that Russian Federation and the United States continued to use the hotline even after Moscow said it was hanging up.
"We believe that having a channel where we can de-escalate and understand each other's intentions serves a very good objective and we are hopeful that we can continue to use it", Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said Tuesday.
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..."
Murphy's remarks came two days after a U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane for the first time, prompting Russian Federation to issue a threat against American airborne assets over Syrian airspace. The official says the drone was a Shaheed 129 and appeared to have been operated by "pro-regime" forces. Prior to that shoot down, U.S. aircraft struck pro-Syrian regime forces as they advanced on At Tanf.