Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

USA shoots down drone close to Iraqi-Syrian border

USA shoots down drone close to Iraqi-Syrian border

An armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV "displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces" at 12:30 am local time on Tuesday, the coalition said in a statement, CNN reported.

The coalition forces "were manning an established combat outpost to the northeast" of the base when the drone flew in, a Pentagon statement said.

But their presence there has led to a series of confrontations with pro-regime forces, including on June 8 when a United States plane also downed a drone after it dropped munitions near Al-Tanaf.

"Multiple military actions of USA aviation under the guise of fighting terrorism against the legal military of a state that is a member of the United Nations are a flagrant violation of worldwide law and constitute de facto military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic", the ministry said, according to The Washington Post.

The incident closely followed Sunday's US downing of a piloted Syrian army jet in the southern Raqqa countryside after it dropped bombs near USA -backed forces.

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"All flying objects, including planes and drones of the global coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defence systems as targets", a statement from Russia's defence ministry said.

Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway said coalition aircraft would continue to conduct "operations throughout Syria, targeting ISIS forces and providing air support for Coalition partner forces on the ground", and that their operations would not be changed in light of the Russian threat.

The incident came as Russian Federation once again protested against repeated USA actions against forces allied with Syria and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the incidents could be "very dangerous" and cause an escalation of the war.

Russia, a key ally of the Syrian regime, accused the US-led coalition of "complicity with terrorism" after the drone was downed in southern Syria.

The SU-22 fighter bomber was engaged by an F/A-18E Super Hornet after it had dropped bombs near the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, the Pentagon said.

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Michael Mosser, who specializes in worldwide relations and global studies at the University of Texas at Austin says the US has a choice in Syria - to de-escalate its role in the conflict, or take a more aggressive stance, especially with regard to Russian Federation. A ministry statement issued in Moscow warned that coalition planes would be viewed as targets, and said a hotline for preventing accidental military engagement would be shut off. When she fled Syria, she only took her school books with her.

After the warning, the OIR said that the coalition would reposition its aircraft over Syria as a prudent measure. Ford said he knew that that expression of support would encourage certain elements of the opposition to take up arms and expect a U.S. invasion against Damascus, which he said would not be forthcoming.

A temporary suspension was declared on Tuesday after Russian Federation warned it would treat aircraft from the US-led coalition as potential targets. USA -backed forces have encircled the city of Raqqa and captured several districts from the militants.

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

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