American F-16 SHOOTS DOWN armed Turkish combat drone that flew within half a mile of U.S. troops in Syria
By Arsenio Toledo // Oct 06, 2023

An American F-16 fighter jet shot down a Turkish combat drone over Syria on Thursday, Oct. 5, after the drone flew close to American forces stationed in northeast Syria.

The Turkish drone was spotted by U.S. troops stationed in northern Syria at around 7:30 a.m. local time. Department of Defense spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said U.S. forces observed multiple Turkish drones conducting airstrikes in cities in northern Syria, including in the Syrian opposition-controlled city of Heseke, which is around one kilometer (0.62 miles) away from a U.S. base, prompting U.S. troops to be ordered into bunkers for their safety.

One drone in particular ignored repeated warnings to stay away, so U.S. troops were forced to scramble F-16s to intercept it. At around 11:30 a.m., the drone entered a zone restricted for U.S. air assets, flying as close as half a kilometer (0.31 miles) away from U.S. troops. By 11:40 a.m., the F-16s had shot down the drone. (Related: Russia making progress toward goal of MASS PRODUCING combat drones to rival Ukraine's Western-supplied drone fleet.)

Roughly 900 U.S. troops are stationed in Syria, working with Syrian Kurdish-majority opposition group the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue to battle the remnants of the Islamic State.

The Turkish drone was a Bayraktar TB2, a medium-altitude, long-endurance drone made famous for its participation in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. U.S. forces note that the Bayraktar was armed with air-to-ground missiles.

Turkey launching drone strikes against U.S. allies in Syria

The reports of Turkish drones flying over northeast Syria confirm that Turkey was striking targets held by the Syrian Kurdish opposition in the region, who the Turkish Defense Ministry claims are linked to the Kurdish militant group the PKK.

Turkey has long complained to the U.S. that the Syrian Kurds are militants who pose a threat to Ankara's national security. The U.S., for its part, insists that the Syrian Kurds are longtime partners who are focused on combating the remnants of the Islamic State. The U.S. further notes that these forces are not pursuing an anti-Turkish agenda. The downing of a drone belonging to a U.S. ally is certain to escalate already-strained tensions.

Ankara claims its drone strikes over the region are in response to a bombing attack on the Turkish capital on Sunday, Oct. 1. Turkish officials claim the perpetrators of the bombing entered Turkey from Kurdish-held Syria – a claim that Turkish officials have not proven and the Syrian Kurds have refuted.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a nonprofit dedicated to documenting human rights abuses in Syria since the beginning of the country's civil war over a decade ago, claimed Turkish drone strikes on Thursday killed at least eight people and injured another five.

Turkey claims that it struck "legitimate targets" in Syria belonging to the PKK, including infrastructure and energy facilities. The Kurdish-populated regions of northern Iraq were also targeted by Turkish drone strikes, with Ankara similarly claiming without sufficient proof that the targeted infrastructure belongs to the PKK.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has also denied owning the drone the U.S. shot down, claiming instead that it operated other drones in the region that struck supposedly PKK-owned oil wells, shelters and warehouses.

Watch this video discussing the escalation of the conflict in northwestern Syria, largely because of Turkey's continued support for Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant groups and Ankara's refusal to withdraw from its military occupation of Syrian territory.

This video is from the channel The Prisoner on

More related stories:

Russian killer drones being used in Ukraine found to contain Western electrical components.

The Economist implies Ukrainian drone strikes are ramped up to psychologically terrorize "ordinary Russians."

Pentagon deploys air and naval assets in Syria and the Persian Gulf as Russia and Iran threaten US assets in the region.

Fully autonomous KILLER DRONES now closer to reality as rapid development of AI continues.

BIOWEAPONS SMOKING GUN: Ukrainian firm asks Turkish drone maker for solution to disperse aerosol contents over wide areas.

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