U.S. shoots down pro-Assad drone in Syria

U.S. shoots down pro-Assad drone in Syria

Reports of the latest strike follow the shooting down of a Syrian SU-22 warplane by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet on Sunday in the countryside around Raqqa.

The U.S. Central Command said, however, that the Syrian plane bombed U.S. -backed forces and the action against it was "in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces".

The drone, which was shot down by a U.S. F-15 fighter jet, was Iranian-made and "assessed to be a threat", according to the CNN. But the drive toward the border has already brought him into conflict with USA -backed opposition forces to the south and east. In response to the downing of the Syrian plane, Russian Federation warned that it would target any American and coalition planes that flew west of the Euphrates River.

Areas of northern Syria west of the Euphrates were controlled by IS before Syrian government forces captured majority in recent months.

Russia, the Syrian government's main ally, also said it was halting communications with the U.S. aimed at preventing such incidents.

The incident comes amid rising tensions between the US and Russian Federation after the USA downed a Syrian jet on Sunday.

Moscow condemned the US-led coalition's attack on the Syrian government military jet as an act of aggression and accused Washington of aiding terrorists. Russian Federation suspended the same mechanisms in April after the US struck a Syrian military base in response to a chemical attack, but resumed its participation weeks later.

Pentagon spokesman, Major Adian Rankine Galloway, said the U.S. had taken "prudent measures to re-position aircraft over Syria" to ensure the safety of pilots.

Aron Lund, also a fellow at the Century Foundation, said that even though Russian Federation and the US may not be interested in an escalation, it is not a given that they can help their allies in Syria avoid it.

The Revolutionary Guards said, according to the New York Times, the missile launches "targeted the headquarters and meeting place and suicide auto assembly line of ISIS terrorists" in the province of Deir al-Zour, where Islamic State group forces surround an estimated 200,000 people in a government-held section of the provincial capital of the same name. Israel also remains concerned about Iran's missile launches.

However, senior Iranian officials have shifted the blame on Saudi Arabia, asserting that the Islamic kingdom was promoting "terrorist attacks in Iran".

The spokesman of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Ramazan Sharif speaks with media members at the conclusion of his press conference in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

It also raised questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which had previously put Iran "on notice" for its ballistic missile tests, will respond.

The U.S. then deployed a truck-mounted missile system in Syria, showing that the U.S. military intends to protect itself.

Over the last week U.S. forces at the At Tanf base have fired at pro-regime forces advancing towards the facility, according to statements made to the media.

For most of the last two years the US and Russian Federation have coordinated their different campaigns in the crowded skies over Syria, but as their allied forces converge in the east that could prove more hard.

Last week, the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria revealed that more than 300 civilians have died because of US-led air strikes in and around the city of Raqqa alone since March.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are now moving towards Raqqah in a bid to remove Daesh from its Syrian stronghold, are often accompanied by US special operations forces.

Clashes between Syrian troops and the SDF would escalate tensions and open a new front line in the many complex battlefields of the civil war, now in its seventh year.

The growing tensions come as the coalition supports the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting to take Raqa from IS.