Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot
Iranian-made A1B Ababil-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) . (illustrative only)

A U.S. warplane shot down an armed Iranian drone over Syrian territory on Tuesday. The Pentagon said the incident took place near a combat post in A-Tanf where U.S. and coalition “advisers” are stationed in a support capacity to provide services to forces battling the Islamic State terrorist organization.

The drone, a Shaheed-129, was hit by an F-15E Strike Eagle after it “displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces,” the U.S. military said in a statement.

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However, the incident carries broader regional implications, due to the fact that Iran is using armed drones in a military theater along Israel’s borders.

The incident comes two days after an American F/A-18 warplane allegedly shot down a Syrian fighter Su-22 near the Syrian city of Taqba in the southern Raqqa area. According to Washington sources, the jet had bombed U.S.-backed forces.

A statement by the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the U.S. “atack was an attempt to undermine efforts of the army as the only effective force capable with its allies … in fighting terrorism across its territory… This comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies were making clear advances in fighting the [Islamic State] terrorist group.”

In response, the U.S. Central Command issued its own statement, saying the Syrian aircraft was shot down “in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.