Shafaq News / The U.S. on Thursday shot down an armed Turkish drone that had come too close to U.S. troops on the ground in northeastern Syria, U.S. officials told The Associated Press, in a rare use of force by one NATO member against another.
The drone had been dropping bombs on targets near Hasakah, and while it was not aiming at U.S. troops the bombs were determined to be close enough to pose a danger to U.S. forces, one of the officials said.
The officials said the shootdown was ordered after more than a dozen calls to Turkish military officials stating that U.S. forces were on the ground in the area and that the U.S. military would take action to protect them if the drone didn’t leave. The drone was shot down by a U.S. F-16 fighter jet, one official confirmed to the AP.
Typically, the U.S. and Turkish militaries, which are NATO allies, work in close coordination in conducting air maneuvers. But American troops also work closely with Kurdish-led forces to counter the Islamic State group in the region.