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US says it shot down Iranian-made drone in Syria

20 June 2017

An American fighter jet has for the first time downed a Syrian warplane that Washington accused of attacking US-backed fighters, in a new escalation between the United States and regime forces.

The U.S. goal remains de-escalating the conflict, but Spicer made clear that "we will always preserve the right of self-defense" should actions be taken against the U.S. or coalition forces.

While the USA -led coalition says it is focused on fighting the Islamic State, it will nevertheless respond when they feel threatened by the Syrian regime.

The tensions between Moscow and Washington escalated after United States Navy F-18 attacked Syrian Su-22 government warplane, on Sunday which was carrying out operations against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions south of Tabqah.

The Syrian government this month marched into Raqqa province from the west but had avoided conflict with the US -backed SDF until the latest incident.

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The U.S. military has repeatedly warned forces fighting on Assad's side to stay away from a "deconfliction zone", agreed with Russian Federation, near a garrison used by U.S. special forces and U.S. -backed militia around Al Tanf.

Moscow has condemned the USA downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears US partner forces.

Russian Federation also says it will suspend its participation in a "deconfliction" line that was established to prevent inadvertent clashes when Russian Federation began military operations in Syria's airspace 20 months ago.

That led Russian Federation, a close ally of Syrian president Bashar Assad, to warn that it would target US-led coalition planes flying west of the Euphrates River. "This is the same location where another pro-regime UAV dropped munitions near Coalition forces before it was shot down, June 8".

This effort to work with partners, however, doesn't mean that the US won't down Syrian aircraft if necessary. The official says the drone was a Shaheed 129 and appeared to have been operated by "pro-regime" forces.

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Defence cooperation would be strengthened, but the EU's participation in the most demanding operations would remain limited. Britain had long blocked EU defence integration, fearing a European armed force wearing the same uniforms.

Australia has deployed 780 military personnel as part of the coalition force fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Intercepts between US and Russian aircraft are common, and are generally not as dangerously close.

Tensions are escalating between the US and Russian Federation over Syria.

An Army spokesman at the Pentagon said at the time that the drone carried more weapons and was considered a direct threat, prompting the shootdown.

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US says it shot down Iranian-made drone in Syria