US military shoots down Iranian-made drone in southern Syria

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The Pentagon said that after Syrian jets had bombed USA -backed forces fighting ISIS in Syria and ground forces headed their way with artillery and armored vehicles, us jets made a strafing run at the vehicles to stop their advance.

An Iranian-made drone was shot down by a US F-15 fighter jet in southern Syria, near At Tanf, the US-led coalition said.

"The absence of a civilian-led USA strategy in Syria and the narrow U.S. military focus on ISIS will continue to provide an open invite for the pro-Assad regime coalition to extend and escalate", Cafarella said.

The US-led coalition conducted what the Pentagon said was a "show of force" - a reported buzzing of the pro-government troops by jets - to stop the attack and then called the Syrian government's ally, Russia, to try to "de-escalate the situation and stop the firing".

"As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased", the Department of Defence said here in a statement.

Tuesday's statement from the worldwide coalition stressed that the global effort remained focused on ISIS but said that coalition forces had the right to self-defense. "At 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet".

In Syria's complex civil war, the USA backs some rebel groups opposed to President Assad, as well as fighters seeking to drive out the Islamic State (IS) group.

Pentagon spokesperson Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the U.S.is not aware of who was manning the drone, but noted that Iran has sold the Shaheed-129 drone to the Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. "That would be another mistake on the scope of the Iraq War", he said.

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The repeated incidents in the vicinity of the Tanf camp, where USA forces train and advise local ground forces in the fight against IS, add to soaring regional tensions that could spiral out of control just as the fight against the extremists enters a crucial phase, with US -backed forces pushing into the group's de facto capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Tanf is the town on Syrian border with Jordan where United States troops are training Syrian rebels, officially described as "partner ground forces".

Russia's defence ministry said the USA had given it no warning, following which Moscow was also suspending coordination over "de-confliction zones" that were created to prevent incidents involving United States and Russian jets engaged in operations in Syria, reports the Guardian.

Davis noted Monday that most of the coalition's air operations occur east of the Euphrates, where ISIS has a larger presence, and that the USA has not seen behavior from Russian Federation that would "cause us concern".

Washington also described those strikes as self-defence. "Given recent events, the Coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces", the statement said. Damascus says its plane was attacking ISIS.

Graduates of a US-trained police force, which expects to be deployed in Raqqa, salute during a graduation ceremony near Ain Issa village, north of Raqqa, Syria, June 17, 2017. In response to the downing of the Syrian plane, Russian Federation warned that it would target any American and coalition planes that flew west of the Euphrates River.

The Sunday downing of the Syrian warplane prompted Russian Federation to issue a threat against American airborne assets over Syrian airspace and track all coalition flights west of the Euphrates River.

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