A U.S. fighter jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone Tuesday over southern Syria, the second such attack in less than a month.
A U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle shot down the Shaheed-129 drone “after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces” near a joint special operations base in At-Tanf. The base was previously attacked by a pro-regime drone on June 8, which forced the U.S. to shoot it down.
“The F-15E intercepted the armed UAV after it was observed advancing on the Coalition position,” said Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition, in a statement on Tuesday. “When the armed UAV continued to advance on the Coalition position without diverting its course it was shot down.”
The engagement follows a previous encounter between U.S. and Syrian forces on Sunday, when a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22 fighter after it attacked Coalition partners in Syria. The Coalition described the strike as a “show of force.”
WATCH VIDEO SUMMARY OF DOWNED SU-22:
Despite the increase in incidents between pro-regime and U.S. forces, the Coalition insisted that it does not seek a fight with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or his allies.
“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,” said the Coalition statement.
Coalition forces also noted that a “de-confliction mechanism” with Russian forces exists to reduce accidents, but that it “will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces.”
The statement called on all parties to “focus their efforts” on the “common enemy,” ISIS.
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