Today, a United States F-16 fighter jet shot down an armed Turkish drone that was operating near its troops in Syria. US officials confirmed the information, marking the first occasion that Washington has shot down a plane belonging to a NATO ally of Turkey.
The drone shot down by the US-led coalition, according to a Turkish defence ministry spokesman, did not belong to the Turkish armed forces, although he did not specify whose ownership it was.
The Bayraktar TB2, an unmanned aerial vehicle built by the Turkish defence company Baykar for use primarily by the Turkish military services, was shot down, according to the preliminary evidence.
Following a blast in Ankara the previous weekend, Turkey’s national intelligence agency has launched attacks in Syria on Kurdish militant targets, a Turkish security source confirmed to Reuters.
About 900 US forces are stationed in Syria to conduct operations against extremists from the so-called Islamic states.
Despite Turkey being a strategically significant ally and a NATO member, the incident may exacerbate already existing tensions between the US and Turkey. US government representatives and officials have questioned Turkey’s human rights record and delays in accepting Sweden’s membership in NATO.
Turkey, on the other hand, is not happy with USA delaying approval of 40 new F-16 fighter jets, as well as equipment to upgrade its existing fleet.
After this very serious incident happened, questions arrises:
Were US troops indeed in danger and why was the drone shot down without warning?
Why was the drone shot down if US troops were not shot at?