As reported by American Military News in an article brought to my attention by Jared Smith, an Aviation Geek and a reader of this site, on Jun. 20, 2017 a U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagle jet shot down an Iranian-made Syrian drone that was armed and in firing range of American troops in southern Syria.
According to a press release from the Coalition “A U.S. aircraft shot down an armed pro-Syrian regime Unmanned Aerial Vehicle [UAV] advancing on Coalition forces in Southern Syria.”
“The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces,” the Coalition said.
“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,” it continued. “This is the same location where another pro-regime UAV dropped munitions near Coalition forces before it was shot down, June 8.”
“The F-15E intercepted the armed UAV after it was observed advancing on the Coalition position. When the armed UAV continued to advance on the Coalition position without diverting its course, it was shot down,” the Coalition said.
The release also stated:
“The Coalition has made it clear to all parties publicly and through the de-confliction line with Russian forces that the demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.
There is a de-confliction mechanism in place with Russian forces to reduce uncertainty in this highly contested space and mitigate the chances of strategic miscalculation. Given recent events, the Coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces.
The Coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat ISIS in Syria poses globally. The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.”
Noteworthy this is the third time the U.S. has “had to shoot something down” in southern Syria.
As we have previously reported in fact on Jun. 8 a USAF F-15E Strike Eagle shot down a “pro-Syria regime” UAV that was attacking U.S.-backed fighters in southern Syria.
Then on Jun. 18, 2017, a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter bomber from VFA-87 Golden Warriors shot down by means of an AIM-120 AMRAAM a Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 near Tabqah, 20 miles west of Raqqa, after that the attack aircraft had dropped bombs near U.S. backed forces, in the form of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
After the Su-22 shot down Russia said it will treat any U.S. jets in Syria as “air targets.”
Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew and Staff Sgt. Brittain Crolley / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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