The United States on Thursday shot down an armed Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle after coming close to American troops in northeastern Syria, the Pentagon said.
This is the first time U.S. forces have brought down an aircraft of NATO ally Turkey.
The U.S. military also added that officials repeatedly warned Ankara about flying drones near U.S. troops.
The Pentagon said Thursday the U.S. F-16 fighter jet shot down an armed Turkish drone that came within 500 meters (yards) of American troops.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, called it a “regrettable incident” and said U.S. troops were forced to go to bunkers for safety as Turkey bombed targets nearby.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Turkish counterpart and stressed the importance of close coordination between their two countries to prevent any risk to American forces or to the global coalition’s mission to defeat Islamic State militants in the region, Ryder said.
A Turkish defense ministry official said the drone that was shot down did not belong to the Turkish armed forces, but did not say whose property it was.
Some sources reported that it was ANKA-S unmanned aerial vehicle with satellite control capability.