Syria shot down US drone on suspicion of spying: Military source
Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:35PM
The Syrian air defenses recently shot down a US drone on suspicion that the unmanned aerial vehicle was snooping around an area where the ISIL Takfiri terrorists are not present, a military source says.
The drone over the northwestern coastal province of Latakia was not immediately identified as belonging to the US Army, but the aerial vehicle was downed as a hostile target, the source in Damascus told AFP on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.
"As soon as it entered Syrian air space, we considered it to be gathering security and military information on Syria's territory," the source said, adding, "The aircraft entered areas where Daesh (an Arabic acronym for ISIL) is not present."
Late Tuesday, Syrian media reported that air defenses had targeted a US surveillance jet over Latakia near a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Syrian state-run television also broadcast footage of what it referred to as the drone's wreckage.
The US military confirmed that communication with an unarmed predator drone over northwestern Syria was lost on Tuesday and that it was investigating claims that its unmanned aircraft was downed.
Meanwhile, a UK-based Syrian opposition group said the US drone was shot down in al-Maqta village near the provincial capital of Latakia. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added that there are no ISIL terrorists in the region but a large number of government forces instead.
The ISIL terrorists control some parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq. The United States and some of its allies have been conducting airstrikes against what is said to be ISIL positions in Iraq since early August 2014. The attacks also began to cover some parts of Syria in September that year, although the move was not made upon authorization by the government in Damascus, which slammed it as a blatant violation of Syria's sovereignty.
The raids by the US-led coalition have so far failed to dislodge the Takfiri terrorist group.
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