US military forces shot down an Iranian spy drone over a military base in northeastern Syria earlier this week. The drone was allegedly trying to gather military intelligence.
The US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) reported an Iranian drone “attempted to conduct reconnaissance of the Conoco Mission Support Site”.
The Conoco site is a patrol base where US counterterrorism troops are stationed alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces to help eliminate terrorist groups and counter Iranian influence in the region.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, suspects the drone was launched by a pro-Iran group a day after the country
Qassem Soleimani was the commander of the Quds Force, the special force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was killed in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020.
The presence of drones at the Conoco Site itself is not the first time this has happened. In January, two rockets were fired at the site but caused no damage or casualties.
American military forces are often targeted by pro-Iran groups in Syria.
The relationship between the West and Iran has recently become increasingly murky after Iran announced its drone program, especially with regard to the “kamikaze” drones supplied to Russia to attack Ukraine.
Last month, a drone strike took place on a major Iranian defense facility in the city of Isfahan. The site hit by the attack was a weapons production facility for the Shahed-136 drone, the drone used by Russian troops in Ukraine.
The attack was one of many widely attributed to Israel, which has a policy of not commenting on such operations.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has so far said that it has arrested the “main actors” involved in the Isfahan attack.