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Syria conflict: US jet 'downs drone' near Jordan border

23 Juin 2017

The official says the drone was considered a threat, and was shot down by a U.S. F-15 fighter jet.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who commands the coalition-led air campaign over Syria, said Monday that the United States would reposition its aircraft to minimize the risk from Syrian and Russian air defenses but would continue its strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

In another first, Iran - another close Assad ally - fired ballistic missiles at IS targets in eastern Syria, in the province of Deir el-Zour, later on Sunday.

"I don't think there's any real sense of what to do, beyond defending US troops and partner forces".

The U.S. military said it had shot down an armed, Iranian-made drone that had been bearing down on its forces near a garrison in Syria's southeast on Tuesday, in the latest sign of increasingly frequent confrontation with Damascus and its allies, APA reports quoting Reuters.

"The Coalition forces were manning an established combat outpost to the northeast of At Tanf where they are training and advising partner ground forces in the fight against ISIS", or Islamic State, according to CENTCOM.

The U.S. military meanwhile confirmed Tuesday that top IS cleric Turki al-Binali was killed in a coalition airstrike on May 31, in Mayadeen, Syria.

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The drone was thought to be armed and threatening US-led coalition troops on the ground, officials said. "We expect that it will be provided", he said.

That incident prompted the Russian ministry of defense to announce that it would suspend the de-confliction hotline with the coalition which is created to prevent any accidents in the skies over Syria.

Immediately after the Syrian Su-22 fighter jet dropped its bombs, two American F/A-18E Super Hornets, flying from the George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, engaged, firing a AIM-9 Sidewinder - a short-range air-to-air missile - at the Syrian plane from about half a mile away, two U.S. officials told CNN. On June 18, A US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22 fighter-bomber after it attacked Syrian Democratic Forces south of the town of Tabqa. "The foreign minister, on the other hand, said 'everybody needs to take a step back and work to de-escalate the situation'".

On Monday, Russia's defense ministry effectively drew a line across Syria west of the Euphrates River, saying that "all kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the worldwide coalition. will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets".

On June 9, despite the series of engagements with USA forces at Al-Tanaf, the regime skirted around the base to arrive at the Iraqi border for the first time since 2015.

The US pilot proceeded to fire off a second missile, an AIM 120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, which hit its intended target, downing the Syrian warplane and forcing its pilot to eject, the officials added.

Syria conflict: US jet 'downs drone' near Jordan border