US shoots down another pro-regime drone in Syria

Russia, Iran and the United States are drawing new red lines for each other in Syria, with Moscow warning Washington on Monday it would treat any US -led coalition planes in its area of operations as potential targets after the USA air force downed a Syrian jet.

The incident comes amid rising tensions between coalition forces and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is backed by Russian Federation and Iran.

A Pentagon official told Russian Federation that it would not back down, however, after Russian Federation threatened to make U.S. planes its targets. Each side is increasingly butting up against each other, most recently on Sunday when a US F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian regime SU-22 fighter jet after it attacked US-backed forces on the ground.

Hernandez says the incident was on Monday when the U.S. RC-135 was on a routine mission in global airspace.

Col. Ryan Dillon told the NYT, "We are going to continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, providing air support for coalition and partnered forces on the ground".

Pro-regime forces are moving on three fronts, south of Raqa, through the Badia desert region in central Syria, and along the eastern border.

US shoots down pro-regime drone in Syria
The Pentagon said "the coalition mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria", using an abbreviation for the Islamic State group. The June 8 shoot-down of an Iranian drone over Syria was the first US air-to-air engagement since February 2009.

It was also the first time the US Air Force had shot down a manned aircraft since May 1999.

The U.S. -led Combined Joint Task Force said the drone displayed "hostile intent" as it approached the outpost.

Tensions escalated on Sunday as the USA army brought down the jet near Raqqa and Iran launched missiles at Islamic State targets in eastern Syria - the first time each state has carried out such actions in the multi-sided Syrian war.

That incident followed two others involving USA fire against pro-regime forces on the ground as they came close to the garrison.

A ministry statement issued in Moscow warned that coalition planes would be viewed as targets, and said a hotline for preventing accidental military engagement would be shut off.

Fighting and bombardment meanwhile resumed early Tuesday between Syrian government forces and rebels in the southern city of Daraa and nearby areas, where a 48-hour truce had gone into effect on Saturday. Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force in charge of the country's missile program, said it launched six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from the western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan.

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The activist-run Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that government troops captured a hill west of the city and a former army base that was held by rebels.

Daraa-based activist Ahmad al-Masalmeh says fighting is now underway in the city.

Daraa is where Syria's crisis first broke out in March 2011 as an uprising against Assad's government. The conflict quickly descended into a civil war, which has since left at least 400,000 people dead. Chris Murphy of CT warned Tuesday that the United States could be edging toward a military conflict with Iran and Russian Federation in Syria.

Two top Revolutionary Guard commanders said that the strikes were meant to send a message to the perpetrators of militant attacks in Tehran last week - claimed by Islamic State - that killed 18 people, as well as their supporters.

Aron Lund, also a fellow at the Century Foundation, said that even though Russian Federation and the USA may not be interested in an escalation, it is not a given that they can help their allies in Syria avoid it.

US special forces have been training Syrian opposition fighters at the At Tanf base for more than a year.

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