U.S. Shoots Down pro-Assad Regime Drone Firing on Coalition Forces in Syria

Incident comes after Hezbollah warns that Assad's allies will strike at American positions inside Syria if it crosses any 'red lines'

A still image taken from footage aired on Hezbollah's TV channel shows what it said is a U.S. military drone flying over southeast Syria.
REUTERS TV/REUTERS

The United States shot down a pro-Syrian regime armed drone that was attacking U.S.-led coalition forces in Syria on Thursday, a U.S. military spokesman said, the first time the regime had attacked coalition forces. 

U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, who is a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, said the MQ-1-like armed drone was destroyed after it fired upon coalition forces carrying out a patrol outside a deconfliction zone in southern Syria. Dillon said there were no coalition casualties. 

Dillon said that earlier in the day, the U.S. had carried out another strike against pick-up trucks carrying weapons that had moved against U.S.-backed fighters near the town of At Tanf. 

The incident comes a day after Hezbollah warned that the Syrian government's allies will strike at American positions inside Syria if it crosses any "red lines."

The Lebanese militant group, a close ally to the Syrian government, issued the threat via its military media arm — one day after American forces bombed pro-government forces in eastern Syria.

The Pentagon said Tuesday the pro-government forces were infringing on a "de-confliction" zone established to protect U.S.-backed local opposition forces, who are engaged in fighting the Islamic State group.

On its TV station al-Manar, Hezbollah broadcast footage it said was of an Iranian drone tailing an American one over eastern Syria. It said the video was proof the Syrian government's backers could strike American units at will.