Middle East

Syrian pro-government drone shot down by US military

US special forces have been deployed to several locations in Syria Image copyright Reuters
Image caption US special forces have been deployed to several locations in Syria

The United States says it shot down a pro-Syrian government drone after it fired at coalition forces.

The armed drone was flying near to a de-confliction zone in the country's south-east, close to the Jordanian and Iraqi borders.

A US military spokesman said this was the first time that pro-Syrian government units had attacked US-led coalition forces.

No members of the coalition forces are reported to have been hurt.

The incident happened near the al-Tanf border crossing, between Syria and Iraq, which has become a new flashpoint in the conflict.

US Col Ryan Dillon said that even if the drone had only been firing a warning shot, "it was something that showed a hostile intent, a hostile action and posed a threat to our forces because this drone had munitions that were still on it".

It is not clear exactly which of the armed elements fighting for the Syrian government was operating the drone, BBC Arab affairs analyst Sebastian Usher says.

But it is another escalation in a region that's increasingly become a new flashpoint, potentially pushing the US into direct confrontation with pro-Assad forces, our correspondent adds.

Last month, US-led coalition aircraft bombed a convoy of pro-Syrian government forces near the Tanf base.

Syrian and Iranian-backed militiamen were reportedly moving towards the base, which is used by rebel fighters and Western special forces personnel.

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