US shoots down Iran-made drone in Syria

Claudine Rigal
Juin 24, 2017

The decision came amid increasing tension between the USA and Russian Federation, which warned it, would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets" and halted a military hotline with Washington over the incident.

The RCC is a diverse team co-led by Arab tribal leader Sheikh Mahmoud Shawakh al-Bursan, who wears tribal robes, and Kurdish civil engineer Leila Mustafa, dressed in a green shirt and jeans.Based in the village of Ain Issa, 50 km (30 miles) north of Raqqa, it has the support of the Syrian Democratic Forces, U.S. -backed Kurdish and Arab militia fighting Islamic State.

The latest incident occurred in a part of Syria seen as strategically important for the Syrian government and Iran as Tehran seeks to secure a land corridor between forces it backs in Syria and Iraq.

Moscow said it was suspending an incident hotline set up two years ago and warned that it would consider global aircraft operating in central Syria "aerial targets".

Despite the increasing number of incidents, analysts say neither Syria's regime nor Washington now wants a major confrontation.

The possibility of a direct Russian-American confrontation in Syria intensified after the US shot down the warplane affiliated with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on Sunday.

Russian Defense Ministry said its own warplanes had been in the same space as the Syrian-U.S. strike, according to The Washington Post. But even if you buy that rationale, Congress has yet to debate let alone pass an AUMF that authorizes military action against the Syrian government, making the Trump administration's strikes against Assad's forces entirely illegal.

Russian Federation also said on Monday it would treat US -led coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria as potential targets and track them with missile systems and military aircraft.

The Kremlin's recent threat came in response to the U.S.

But their presence there has led to a series of confrontations with pro-regime forces, including on June 8 when a United States plane also downed a drone after it dropped munitions near Al-Tanaf. If the USA continues targeting Russian-backed forces and Russia follows through with its threat, it's hard to imagine how further escalation would be avoided. In order to avoid catastrophe, Congress should debate and vote on a new AUMF, and come to the appropriate conclusion that US military involvement in Syria, particularly against the Syrian government and its allies, is not in the best interests of the American people.

These battles are critical for Syria's future, Abdullah said, noting they will force the U.S.to negotiate with the Assad government. Since Trump took office, the legality of USA involvement in Syria has slid from dubious to non-existent.

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