According to a person with knowledge of the incident, a U.S. jet fighter shot down a Turkish drone on Thursday after determining that it posed a threat to American soldiers in northeast Syria.
The incident occurs as Turkey intensifies airstrikes against Kurdish terrorists it holds accountable for a bomber attack that occurred in Ankara on Sunday.
Approximately 900 American soldiers are stationed in Syria and have been collaborating with fighters under Kurdish leadership to combat Islamic State.
The drone, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry, is not a part of the Turkish military.
However, one American official claimed that it was an armed drone from Turkey and claimed that the US was aware of this prior to taking action.
An F-16 from the United States shot down the drone using air-to-ground weapons.
According to a U.S. official, the attack was carried out as adjacent American troops were engaged in military operations.
The shootdown is likely to increase tensions between the NATO allies Turkey and the United States over American military tactics in Syria, the United States’ decision to exclude Turkey from the development of the cutting-edge F-35 jet fighter, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ties to Moscow.