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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US warns Damascus over interfering in air campaign

Iran Press TV

Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:19AM

The US has warned Damascus not to interfere in its ongoing air campaign in Syria, after a US drone was shut down over the coastal province of Latakia.

'We certainly continue to believe that that is what the Assad regime [sic] should do, which is not interfere with our ongoing efforts there as we deal with ISIL and some other extremists that may pose a threat to the United States and our interests around the world," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday.

"That – our insistence that they not interfere is – still applies,' he said.

On Tuesday night, Syrian media reported that the country's air force had targeted a US surveillance jet over Latakia. The Syrian television also broadcast footage of the drone's wreckage.

The US military confirmed that it "lost contact with a US MQ-1 Predator unarmed remotely piloted aircraft operating over northwest Syria."

A senior US Defense Department official also warned Syria over the downing of the aircraft, USA Today reported.

But, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it seems that the mistake may have been on part of US forces that allowed the Predator to wander away into "sensitive airspace."

He further said it may take days for the military to reach a definitive conclusion on the reason for the attack.

The Pentagon and White House have so far not publicly admitted that the Syrian military had shot down the drone.

Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL terrorists inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The US-led coalition has done little to stop the ISIL's advances in parts of Syria.

Some analysts have criticized the aerial military campaign in Syria, saying the strikes are meant to destroy the Arab country's infrastructure.

Alan Sabrosky, a US Marine Corps veteran, has said that the United States' airstrikes in Syria often target militants with "no military value" and actually aim at the country's infrastructure.


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