An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet of the US Air Force had shot down an Iranian drone over eastern Syria, Fox News journalist Lucas Tomlinson reported on August 22, citing US officials.
According Tomlinson’s sources, the drone was shot down after approaching an unspecified area where some of 900 US troops deployed in Syria are situated.
On August 21, local sources in the eastern Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor reported that the US-led coalition shot down an unidentified drone over the al-Omar oil fields, which are held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. This was most certainly the same incident reported by Tomlinson.
The sources said that the drone flew over the oil fields and the nearby CONICO gas facility for a few hours before being shot down. The coalition maintains bases in both areas.
This was not the first time the US had shot down an Iranian drone over Syria. On 8 June 2017, a US Air Force F-15E shot down a Shahed-129 combat drone of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps over the southeastern Syrian area of al-Tanf. Back then, the US-led coalition alleged that the drone attacked US troops.
A second Iranian Shahed-129 combat drone was shot down over al-Tanf by a US Air Force F-15E on 20 June 2017. The coalition claimed that the drone posed a threat to US troops deployed in the area.
The new incident will not likely lead to much escalation between the US and Iran. Tehran didn’t respond in the past to attacks on its drones in Syria.
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