U.S. jet shoots down 'Iranian drone' in Syria

| Updated: Jun 21, 2017 04:41 IST

New York [U.S.], June 20 (ANI): 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. It is the fifth time in the past month the US has struck at forces allied with the Syrian government in the area. 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 drone was downed just outside the 55 kilometer de-confliction zone, according to the officials. It was an Iranian-made Shahed 129 and was thought to be armed and in firing range of US troops. The drone was observed in the same area where another UAV was shot down on June 8 Tanf is the town on Syrian border with Jordan where US troops are imparting training to Syrian rebels, officially described as "partner ground forces" in the fight against ISIS. The coalition "does 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," the statement said. On Sunday, a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet near the town Tabqa for the first time, U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Iraq said in a statement. The Syrian government SU-22 dropped bombs near the Syrian Democratic Forces. In response, Russia announced its 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. (ANI)