21st Century Wire says…
According to reports this morning from SANA, the Syria State News Agency, announced that a US reconnaissance aircraft, most likely a Predator drone, was shot down in Syrian air space just north of the city of Latakia.
Sources say that SANA has already broadcast footage of the wreckage on television, including details of signature parts and a wheel. If confirmed, this would be the first US aircraft to go down since ‘coalition’ airstrike in Syria began in September 2014.
Many fear that this, or a similar incident, could inflame an already tense situation between Washington and Damascus, and also Tehran, as the White House continue their efforts to manage a proxy war on the ground in Syria, and also airstrikes against supposed ISIS/ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.
All of this is occurring in front of a backdrop where the US along with the P5 +1, attempting to reach a negotiated settlement over Iran’s nuclear future.
It is believed that the downed US aircraft’s mission originated from one of three likely deployment bases. Two of these are the Ali al Salem Air Base in Kuwait which houses the US Air Force’s 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, and a joint Iraqi-CIA air base located in Erbil, Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
While it’s possible that the US drone was testing Syria’s air defense systems, it’s more likely that it either was conducting covert military surveillance on Damascus, or establishing targets.
The location of this incident is absolutely key to this story. It happened far away from “ISIS-held territory”. If the US was conducting surveillance against Syrian government military targets, assets or even persons – would be the case with CIA-JSOC targeted drone assassinations – and not against ‘ISIS/ISIL’ targets around Raqqa, Syria, then this would indicate a CIA intelligence-gathering operation, or assassination operation originating in Erbil. As it turns out, Erbil is classified as a ‘Joint Operating Center’ which means that drones there could be under CIA rather than US military command.
Although Washington claims it’s first priority is defeating ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq, the US still maintains its controversial, albeit illegal policy of ‘regime change’ for Damascus, and are even arming and funding their own opposition force in Syria which they believe will ultimately remove the current government of Bashar al Assad.
Another possibility is the Turkish air base in Incirlik. As Dronewars.net reports:
“Four US drones have usedairbase in Turkey to undertake surveillance flights against the PKK in Iraq since November 2011 (one was shot down in September 2012). Although these unarmed flights appear to have continued, Turkey has been reluctant to join the US coalition in part due to the kidnapping of almost 50 Turkish Consulate staff and children when Mosul was overrun by ISIS in June 2014, and partly due to political differences over the response to ISIS. Even though the hostages have now been released, tensions between the US and Turkey remain. Recent reports appear to confirm that Turkey is allowing unarmed US drones to use Incirlik for surveillance flights over Syria and Iraq only.”
Stay tuned for more updates at 21WIRE.
READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files