OAN Roy Francis
8:51 AM PT – Wednesday, February 15, 2023
United States Central Command announced on Tuesday that an Iranian-made surveillance drone had been shot down in northeastern Syria.
“US forces in Syria engaged and shot down an Iranian-manufactured UAV attempting to conduct reconnaissance of Mission Support Site Conoco, a patrol base in northeast Syria,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
The drone was shot down around 2:30 pm local time, as it was conducting what is believed to be a reconnaissance mission over a United States military base, which has an oil site located nearby.
The U.S. and Iran support different groups in Syria and both routinely conduct counterterrorism and surveillance operations in the area.
The U.S. backs the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is led by Kurdish forces. Meanwhile, Iran supports the central government of the country, located in Damascus.
Iran’s drone program has been criticized by U.S. officials due to the methods in which it is used. Iran routinely supplies Russia with “suicide” drones in its war in Ukraine, and has been known to deploy them in Syria on occasion as well.
Drone use is on the rise in the area recently, Iran itself was the target of a drone attack on January 28th for which it blames Israel. The Islamic nation had announced Friday that it arrested the suspects it believes to be involved in that operation.
Iran, Russia, and the Syrian government have all accused the U.S. of exploiting the natural resources in Syria. All three countries claim that the United States military presence in the area is illegitimate.
The United States military has had a presence in Syria since August 2014.