U.S. officials said Wednesday that a Predator drone lost over Syria a day earlier was likely shot down, while the Syrian military said it had brought down the craft over suspicions that it was spying.
The news came as Syrian government troops seized territory near the city of Aleppo from rebel groups, while the U.S. sought to reassure its ally Turkey that it continued to support a settlement to the four-year conflict that excludes Syrian President Bashar Assad from the country’s political future.
A Syrian military source, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the drone was not immediately identified as being American but was shot down as a hostile aircraft.
“As soon as it entered Syrian airspace, we considered it to be gathering security and military information on Syria’s territory,” the source in Damascus said. “The aircraft entered areas where ISIS is not present.”