British Typhoon fighter plane. FILE PHOTO

British Typhoon fighter plane.

British Warplane Shoots Down Drone Near US Base In Syria


A British warplane in a US-led coalition shot down a drone this week near a base where US troops are stationed in southern Syria, officials said on Thursday.

The base, known as Tanf, is in a strategic area near Syria's border crossing with Iraq and Jordan and houses a small number of US troops.

Britain's defense ministry said a Typhoon warplane shot down a "small hostile drone" that was a threat to coalition forces. It said this was the first air-to-air engagement for a Royal Air Force Typhoon.

US Central Command spokesman, Navy Captain Bill Urban, said two drones entered the Tanf garrison "deconfliction" zone on Tuesday and one was shot down as it moved closer to the base. He said there were no casualties or damage to facilities.

It was not immediately clear who owned the drone.

Iranian-backed forces have in the past attacked US troops with drones and rockets in eastern Syria and Iraq. In October, a number of drones were used against the base, although there were no casualties.

US officials have said Iranian-backed militia could increase attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria in coming weeks, in part to mark the anniversary of the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis killed by a US drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 2, 2020.

Report by Reuters

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