In a June 20 statement, the Coalition confirmed that a US F-15 shot down an armed drone near At Tanf in southern Syria on Monday, June 20, after it was assessed to pose a threat to US forces.
“The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces.”
The statement said Coalition forces were manning an established combat outpost to the northeast of At Tanf – the same location where another pro-regime drone dropped munitions near Coalition forces before it was shot down, June 8.
After being intercepted by the F-15E, the drone “continued to advance on the Coalition position without diverting its course” and was shot down,” the statement said.
“Given recent events, the Coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces,” the statement continued.
DOD spox says deconfliction line was not used in 2nd drone shoot down – says pilot adhered to ROE in fast-developing threat to ground forces
— Tara Copp (@TaraCopp) June 20, 2017
— Fergus Kelly (@ferguskelly) June 20, 2017
This is the first time the Coalition have confirmed the use of the Iran-made Shaheed-129 drone in Syria. Other outlets have previously reported that the drone shot down on June 8 was also a Shaheed-129.
The US has now shot down two Shahed 129s. Turkey also shot down a Shahed 129.
— Aaron Stein (@aaronstein1) June 20, 2017
The downing of the drone is the latest in a series of incidents that have complicated the Coalition air war in Syria. On June 8, a manned US aircraft shot down another pro-regime drone near At Tanf. On June 17, a US F/A-18E shot down a Syrian military jet near Raqqa, which led to Russia saying that it will track, target and intercept Coalition aircraft in Syria and suspending the de-confliction line.