DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:30 A.M.) – Amid increased tensions between Washington and Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) downed three US-manufactured drones hovering over Syrian airspace in the mountainous Latakia governorate.

The three Switchblade drones were shot down by border soldiers of the SAA’s 144th Brigade at the town of Kessab on Sunday. It is not known why the US military was spying on SAA positions in Latakia. Subsequently, pictures were released of the incident:

Chris Tomson | AMN

Chris Tomson | AMN

Chris Tomson | AMN

The tactical drones are usually used by United States special operations forces and have a limited range of only 10 kilometers. The Turkish Armed Forces may also have been involved in launching the cross-border drones.

In 2014, Turkish forces invaded the Christian border town of Kessab, destroying its churches and ultimately reaching the Syrian coast for the first time since the revolution began. However, the SAA drove the insurgents back across the border within a couple months.

Last week, the SAA was hit by US airstrikes in eastern Homs. On April 7, US warships also launched 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Shayrat Air Base. In September last year, the US Air Force killed over 100 SAA soldiers in Deir Ezzor. The latter attack was supposedly accidental.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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