(RepublicanNews.org) – The U.S. Air Force is referring to their October 5th shootdown of a Turkish combat drone that was operating too close to American forces stationed in Syria as “regrettable.” Patrick Ryder, the Air Force Brigadier General who oversaw the incident, said American troops had to head for the safety of nearby bunkers while Turkish air assets bombed targets nearby.
The armed drone reportedly flew too close for comfort and U.S. forces apparently did not want to fall victim to unintentional friendly fire. Officials at the Pentagon said the unmanned Turkish device came within about 500 yards of where American troops were operating.
Both various media outlets and the Defense Department appear to be framing the drone’s takedown as a rare precautionary move. The United States and Turkey are NATO allies.
After the drone was shot down, both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the United State’s newest Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. CQ Brown called their counterparts in Turkey to reportedly explain the happenings and look for solutions as to how future misunderstandings could be avoided.
Following the events, Brig. Gen. Ryder made clear that the U.S. had no evidence that showed that Turkey was purposely targeting American forces. Their takedown decision was made with proper due diligence and was additionally based on their inherent right to self-defense, Ryder further said.
Pentagon officials previously told reporters that the Turkish vehicle’s destruction was only ordered after the Turkish military failed to respond to over a dozen contact attempts from Americans on the ground. According to the officials, who volunteered the information on the condition they would not be named, their multiple warnings went unacknowledged.
Ryder followed up his initial comments by saying that American forces observed the Turks conducting drone-based airstrikes in an American “operating zone” near Hassakeh. After their calls went unreturned, an F-16 was permitted to shoot the drone down.
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