Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

U.S. jet shoots down 'Iranian drone' in Syria

Lillian Steele | 23 June, 2017, 05:00

Following Sunday's incident, Russia threatened that US -led coalition aircraft will be "followed by Russian ground-based air defense and air defense aircraft as air targets" if they are operating in Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates River while while Russia is on combat missions.

In the decision to resume missions over Syria, Defense Minister Marise Payne stated the Australian "force protection is uppermost in our minds".

The Australians, who have six F-18F Super Hornets flying strike missions as part of the USA -led coalition out of the UAE, have also decided that this is a problem and have suspended their participation in air strikes altogether.

The coalition reiterated that it remains committed to fighting ISIS in Syria, and that it does not seek to fight Syrian, Russian, or forces partnered with them. "It displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces", the statement read. The Russian-US communication channel to prevent mid-air incidents over Syria is in operation, a spokesman for the headquarters of Operation Inherent Resolve, which is being conducted in Iraq and Syria by a group of countries led by the US, informed TASS on Tuesday.

We did absolutely the right thing when we shot down the Syrian plane that threatened our allies.

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

After the Russian threats, Australia also said Tuesday that it had suspended its air operations over Syria.

The US has taken a series of actions over the past three months demonstrating its willingness to carry out strikes, mostly in self-defence, against Syrian government forces and their backers, including Iran.

The area where we downed the Syrian fighter jet is also strategically important.

Meanwhile, the US-led coalition shut down on Tuesday an Iranian-made drone operated by regime forces, in the second such incident after coalition also shut down on June 8 a pro-regime drone. That means intimidating the US into inaction while they crush opposition forces.

"But will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat", the statement said.

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the shootdown an "act of aggression", but the US balked at the Russian threats and said it would continue to protect its interests in Syria. Note that the official statement does not say the bombs were dropped on the SDF fighters but near them!

Murphy said that President Trump does not have the authority to act on his own to fight a war in Syria and that he must gain permission from Congress, which he said should be denied.

The last drone the United States says it shot down was also reportedly destroyed near Tanf after firing on coalition forces.

The UK, another key coalition ally, said it would continue to take part in air operations despite Russia's warning.

The action was a "flagrant aggression" that confirmed the US' "real stance in support of terrorism", Syria's military said.

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