A U.S. fighter jet shot down an armed pro-Syrian regime drone just after midnight Tuesday morning, as the drone advanced on coalition forces in southern Syria, military officials said.
The U.S. -led coalition said the location where the drone was destroyed was close to where another “pro-regime” drone, which intelligence sources had also identified as an Iranian Shahed 129 UAV, was shot down on June 8 after allegedly dropping bombs near coalition forces.
The presence of Iranian-backed troops, artillery and tanks and USA -led coalition forces in southern Syria, namely around the at-Tanf crossing at the Iraq-Syria border, has slowly turned the area into a flash point.
Coalition forces were manning a combat outpost northeast of At Tanf where they are training and advising partner ground forces in the fight against the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Australia said on Tuesday it had suspended air strikes into Syria following the United States downing of a Syrian military jet and Russia’s subsequent threat against US-led coalition aircraft.
Moscow has now suspended a hotline meant to prevent confrontations in Syria s crowded air space, and warned it could consider US-led coalition planes “targets”.
“As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased”, Australia’s Department of Defence said in a statement.
A defense official also said that it was an act of self-defense as the drone was armed and within a range of striking US-led coalition troops.
According to Heras, Assad and his allies may now try to knowingly target ground forces that have United States elements in them.
A senior White House official said: “The strategy for Syria is to defeat ISIS and first and foremost achievement of a de-escalation of the conflict so we can work toward a political resolution”.
In Raqqa, the expert said, the USA is trying to set up if not a separate state, but at least an autonomy with wide-ranging powers.
A spokesman for the military coalition against ISIS hinted today that the U.S.is still in touch with Russian forces operating in the same space, days after Russia cut off those communications amid rising tensions.
“Public statements aside, we have not seen the Russians do any actions that cause us concern”.
Russian Federation also said it was halting communications with the USA aimed at preventing such incidents.
The US-led coalition said Tuesday that it had killed IS s self-proclaimed top cleric, Turki Binali, in an air strike in May on the Syrian town of Mayadeen near the Iraqi border.
The sources said that Russian Federation played the role of a mediator between Washington and each of Tehran and Damascus to demarcate the conflict lines near the Iraqi border, which led to the dismantling of al-Zakaf military base north al-Tanf camp.
Sputnik Turkiye discussed the situation in Syria with Celalettin Yavuz, Turkish professor of political sciences, retired captain of the Turkish Navy and former adviser to the chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (PND) on foreign policy and security.