The United States on Thursday shot down an armed Turkish drone that was operating near its troops in Syria, the Pentagon said, the first time Washington has brought down an aircraft of NATO ally Turkey.
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said U.S. forces observed Turkish drones doing airstrikes around Hassakeh at about 7:30 a.m. local time, and some strikes were inside a so-called American “restricted operating zone” just a kilometer from U.S. troops.
He added a bit later a Turkish drone re-entered the restricted area “on a heading toward where U.S. forces were located.”
Commanders determined it was a threat and U.S. F-16 fighter jets shot it down around 11:40 a.m., Ryder said. The Pentagon press secretary called it a “regrettable incident”.