US-led coalition downs Iran-made drone in Syria

A US warplane shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by pro-regime forces in Syria early Tuesday, officials said, prompting growing international concern over rising tensions between the two sides.

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.

It comes days after a US warplane shot down a Syrian government fighter jet in the north of the country, prompting a furious reaction from Russia.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the incidents could be "very dangerous" and lead to an escalation of the war.

Moscow has now suspended a hotline intended to prevent confrontations in Syria's crowded air space, and warned it could consider US-led coalition planes "targets".

The rising tensions prompted Australia to announce it was suspending its participation in air missions over Syria as part of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

The jihadists are under major pressure in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

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.

It described Binali as "a close confidant" of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and said he "had a central role in recruiting foreign terrorist fighters and provoking terrorist attacks around the world".

In Tuesday's incident, the US-led coalition said an F-15E Strike Eagle jet destroyed an armed Shahed-129 drone in the early hours of the morning as it neared the Al-Tanaf base along Syria's eastern border.

"It displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces," the statement said.

A US military official told AFP the drone was "on a run toward our folks to drop a munition on them" and was shot down in self-defence.

- US presence 'illegal': Russia -

Coalition forces are using the Al-Tanaf base by Syria's borders with Jordan and Iraq to train anti-jihadist Syrian fighters and stage attacks against IS.

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

That incident followed two others involving US fire against pro-regime forces on the ground as they came close to the garrison.

Tensions have also flared between US forces and the Syrian regime further north, where the coalition is supporting an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters battling to oust IS from the city of Raqa.

On Sunday, a US fighter jet downed a Syrian government warplane for the first time in the country's conflict south of Raqa, sparking an angry reaction from regime ally Russia.

Moscow said it was suspending an incident hotline set up two years ago and warned that it would consider international aircraft operating in central Syria "aerial targets".

Washington said it would "work diplomatically and militarily... to reestablish deconfliction" but Moscow continued to take a hard line even before the latest incident.

"It is absolutely illegal," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Tuesday of the presence of American forces in Syria.

"There has been neither a Security Council decision, nor a request from the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic as a sovereign state," Russia's Interfax news reported.

- Risk of escalation -

The growing tensions come as the coalition supports the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to take Raqa from IS.

The SDF now control four neighbourhoods in the city, and on Tuesday also advanced along its southern outskirts, moving closer to completely encircling Raqa.

Syria's government is not involved in the operation and is instead looking further east to the largely IS-held oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor.

Despite the increasing number of incidents, analysts say neither Syria's regime nor Washington currently wants a major confrontation.

"It doesn't look like anyone currently intends to deliberately escalate further, but when you've got these little skirmishes... the risk is that you can end up in an escalation by accident," said Sam Heller, a Syria expert at The Century Foundation.

More than 320,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict began with anti-government demonstrations in March 2011.

It has became a complex war drawing in multiple foreign players, including Russia, which launched a military campaign to support the regime in 2015 that has helped the government recapture large swathes of territory.

Guterres played down expectations of a breakthrough in the next round of UN-led peace talks on Syria starting on July 10.

He said that given the "complexity of the situation... I don't want to create false expectations about immediate results" from the upcoming round of negotiations.

UAV NEWS
Elbit Systems offer Airborne Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance Solution for HLS and Defense Needs
Paris, France (SPX) Jun 15, 2017
Elbit Systems will reveal at the 2017 Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, taking place this week, an innovative wide area persistent surveillance solution - SkEye WAPS. Visual Intelligence (VISINT) gathering was traditionally available in a designated video format. The user could see and record only the area the Electro Optic (EO) payload was viewing, while missing the surrounding area. Sk ... read more

Related Links
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once
credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly
paypal only

Let's block ads! (Why?)



from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense http://ift.tt/2rU6ZN3
via space News
US-led coalition downs Iran-made drone in Syria US-led coalition downs Iran-made drone in Syria Reviewed by Defense Alert on 01:58:00 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Are you looking for free Google+ Circles?
    Did you know you can get these AUTOMATICALLY & ABSOLUTELY FOR FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?

    ReplyDelete

Defense Alert. Powered by Blogger.