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F-15 Shoots Down Drone in Syria, Scores First Air To Air Kill In 20 Years

U.S Air Force F-15s over Syria (USAF photo).
U.S Air Force F-15s over Syria (USAF photo).

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle shot down a drone this afternoon over Syria, after the unmanned “predator sized” aircraft dropped a munition near U.S. ground and coalition forces.

The incident occurred in the town of At Tanf, an outpost close to the Jordanian border where U.S. special ops, Syrian rebel forces and other coalition partners train to fight ISIS.

The drone caused no damage or casualties, hitting “dirt” according to U.S. Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve’s Combined Joint Task Force, which is leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“The shoot down follows an earlier engagement in the day in which Coalition forces destroyed two pro-regime armed technical vehicles that advanced inside the well established de-confliction zone threatening Coalition and partner forces”, added U.S. Central Command, in an email released not long after.

F-15 missile fire (USAF photo).

It’s believed the drone strike was carried out by Iranian backed rebels.

“The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces near coalition and partner forces in southern Syria continue to concern us, and the coalition will take appropriate measures to protect our forces,” the statement said.

American pilots don’t shoot down many planes anymore, because nobody in their right mind would ever dare challenge them and their machines in the air these days. Arguably the most successful weapon ever created in the history of the world, the F-15 has never been shot down, and it has never NOT nailed its target. It even has the distinction of scoring an air to air kill by dropping a bomb on a helicopter during operation Desert Storm.


 – Follow Mike Killian on Instagram and Facebook, @MikeKillianPhotography 


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Mike Killian

Written by Mike Killian

Killian is an aerospace photographer and writer, with a primary focus on spaceflight and military and civilian aviation. Over the years his assignments have brought him onboard NASA's space shuttles, in clean rooms with spacecraft destined for other worlds, front row for launches of historic missions and on numerous civilian and military flight assignments.

When not working the California-native enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, storm chasing, producing time-lapses and shooting landscape and night sky imagery, as well as watching planes of course.

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