An Iranian-made drone was shot down by a US F-15 fighter jet in southern Syria,the US-led coalition said. Though number vary between FOX, CNN & the Washington Post, RT claims that this is the fifth time in the past month that the US has attacked forces allied with the Syrian government.
According a statement by coalition forces, the armed Shaheed-129 UAV “displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces” at 12:30 am local time on Tuesday. The drone was observed in Tanf, which is the same area where another UAV was shot down earlier this month.
— Fergus Kelly (@ferguskelly) June 20, 2017
In response, the Kremlin announced their air defenses would track all coalition targets west of the Euphrates, and suspend the “deconfliction” hotline. Moscow has accused the US of not using the hotline to prevent the Raqqa incident, yet the US maintains the hotline is still operational and they it will “not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces.”
The US lead coalition forces still claim that they “do not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat,” Hostility towards coalition and partner forces “conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated,” the coalition said. There is no IS-controlled territory in contact with the US-backed forces at Tanf, however.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has since suspended flights over Syria.