Coalition forces shoot down Iran-made drone in Syria


In another sign of increasing friction between the US -led coalition and the force backing President Bashar Assad, a USA strike fighter shot down an unmanned "armed pro-regime" combat drone after it "displayed hostile intent" in southern Syria on Tuesday, the Pentagon said. With pro-Syrian government forces now between USA -backed fighters at Tanf and predominantly Islamic State-controlled areas any future offensive in the area will be hard.

Despite the increasing number of incidents, analysts say neither Syria's regime nor Washington now wants a major confrontation. The U.S. military has established a roughly 50-kilometer "deconfliction" ring around Tanf, warning the pro-Assad Iranian-backed forces through a Russian deconfliction channel that movement within the zone could be considered hostile.

There are concerns that further confrontations could lead to a breakout of hostilities that would hinder the battle against IS.

Two Russian warships and a submarine in the Mediterranean have fired missiles at Islamic State group targets in Syria, the defence ministry said Friday.

Those who survived the attack were later killed by air strikes, added the ministry.

Australia's military is suspending the airstrikes that it had been carrying out against the Islamic State as part of a USA -led coalition in Syria, one day after Russian Federation criticized the US downing of a Syrian warplane and threatened to target coalition aircraft in a wide swath of Syria.

One official said that the drone was shot down because it was "assessed to be a threat". It was not known what exactly was hit and Iran has provided no details. The Bahraini cleric wrote religious justifications for the enslavement of hundreds of women from Iraq's Yazidi minority and helped establish the IS branch in Libya.

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The announcement from Canberra came as a brief, two-day truce collapsed in the southern Syrian city of Daraa and nearby areas where government forces have gained ground.

A Syrian military official in Damascus said the truce was not extended.

"The situation is back as it was in Daraa city and fighting is ongoing", said Daraa-based opposition activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh.

The incident took place after a series of clashes between pro-regime troops and the US-backed anti-ISIS group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, near the SDF-held town of Ja'Din, just south of Tabqah, Syria.

Daraa is where Syria's crisis first broke out in March 2011 as an uprising against Assad's government.

Burns reported from Washington, DC.