An Iranian drone was shot down over southern Syria by a US F-15 fighter jet on Tuesday, reported Washington Post. According to the report, this is the second such incident in a week when the US military has attacked a pro-Syrian government aircraft.
A defense official also said that it was an act of self-defense as the drone was armed and within a range of striking US-led coalition troops. The drone was destroyed by US jet near northeast of the Tanf Iraq-Syria border crossing as per a statement by Pentagon. The statement reiterated that the strikes, including two other strikes in the past, were legal as per Authorization for Use of Military Force.
“The coalition has made it clear to all parties publicly and through the deconfliction 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,” the report quotes from Pentagon statement.
The WaPo report further states that militants backed by Iran have been continuously encroaching towards US-led forces in the region prompting the US military to move guided rocket artillery to Tanf. On the other hand, Russia has termed strengthening of US military in souther Syria as unlawful.
“It’s utterly unlawful. There is neither such a decision of the Security Council, nor a request by the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic as a sovereign state,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanovwas quoted as saying.