News Briefs – June 21, 2017

U.S. says it shot down Iranian-made drone in Syria

The U.S. military says it shot down what it called an Iranian-made, armed drone in southern Syria.
A defense official says the drone was approaching a military camp near the Syria-Jordan border. That is where U.S. forces have been training and advising local Syrian Arabs for the fight against Islamic State militants.
The official says the drone was considered a threat, and was shot down by a U.S. F-15 fighter jet.
The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. The official says the drone was a Shaheed 129 and appeared to have been operated by “pro-regime” forces.
It was the second time this month that the U.S. has shot down an armed drone in the vicinity of the camp at Tanf. AP

Officials: Pakistan shoots down Iranian drone near border

Pakistani officials say an air force fighter jet has shot down an unmanned Iranian drone in its southwestern Baluchistan province.
Both officials said June 20 the unmanned aircraft was shot down over the weekend and was deep inside Pakistani airspace. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
The Pakistani Air Force declined to comment on the matter.
Iran, in recent months, has expressed concern over militants operating along the Pakistani border. Iran’s army chief recently warned that the country was willing to strike militants inside Pakistan — remarks that drew a strong protest from Islamabad. AP

Russian jet flies within feet of U.S. plane over Baltic Sea

A U.S. military official says a Russian fighter jet flew within several feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane in what the U.S. says was an unsafe maneuver over the Baltic Sea.
Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez says the Russian pilot was flying at a high rate of speed and had poor control of the aircraft.
Hernandez is a U.S. European Command spokesman. He says the close encounter was unprovoked by the U.S. aircraft. He says it’s not clear if there was any communication between the aircraft.
It’s not known how many U.S. crew were on the plane.
Hernandez says the incident was June 19 when the U.S. RC-135 was on a routine mission in international airspace.
Intercepts between U.S. and Russian aircraft are common, and are generally not as dangerously close. AP

U.S. sends supersonic bombers in show of force against N.Korea

South Korea says the United States has flown two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force during joint military drills.
U.S. and South Korean warplanes regularly conduct drills, but the June 20 flights came shortly after the death of a U.S. college student who was recently released by North Korea in a coma following more than 17 months of captivity.
Seoul’s Defense Ministry said the B-1B bombers were part of routine exercises with South Korea aimed at showing deterrence against North Korea. The U.S. military said the bombers conducted drills with the Japanese and South Korean air forces, demonstrating solidarity with the U.S. allies.
The United States stations tens of thousands of troops in South Korea and Japan. AP

EU approves French, German aid for Airbus helicopter

The European Union has approved 377 million euros ($420 million) in state aid from France and Germany for the development of a new Airbus helicopter.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said June 19 that the subsidies will boost private investment in the project and “help bring a new generation of innovative heavy helicopters to the market” without distorting competition in the 28-nation bloc.
Vestager said the X6 helicopter project exceeds the self-financing capacity of Airbus, allowing for state aid to go ahead.
Airbus is a multinational aerospace company in which several European states, including France, Germany and Spain, own a stake. AP

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