The move was the second time in a week that it shot down a pro-Syrian government aircraft in the sky. "The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. Carla Babb, the Pentagon correspondent for Voice of America (VOA) tweeted Tuesday saying the sources have confirmed that the Iranian-made drone shot down by the U.S. fighter jet was being operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the U.S. military shot down the Shahed 129 as it approached an established coalition combat outpost near al-Tanf in southeast Syria, where the U.S. is holding training sessions for local fighters against the Islamic State group, VOA reported. Officials also said that the shot Iranian aircraft was the same type of drone that a U.S. warplane had shot down June 8 after it attacked U.S.-backed fighters in southern Syria.
Neil Prakash, an Australian recruiter for the Islamic State group (also called ISIS), was arrested somewhere in the Middle East after surviving drone attacks by the FBI, the New York Times reported Thursday. The 25-year-old, who was linked to militant plots in Australia and had appeared in several ISIS propaganda videos, was believed killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in April. According to the Times, which cited an unnamed senior American military official, Prakash was wounded in an airstrike earlier this year but survived. Another senior U.S. military official reportedly said the former Melbourne resident was arrested some time in the last few weeks by an unidentified Middle Eastern government. Prakash, who converted to Islam from Buddhism and took the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, left Australia in 2013 and has been recruiting fighters for ISIS since then.
One of the top leaders of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror organization in Somalia was killed Thursday when the U.S. military launched an airstrike from a drone, the Pentagon says. The al-Shabab official, Hassan Ali Dhoore, was specifically targeted by U.S. forces for his alleged role in two separate attacks in the capital city of Mogadishu, according to a U.S. Defense Department statement Friday. The airstrike was sanctioned by and conducted in concert with the Somali government, and although additional details of the bombing were not immediately available, the Pentagon asserted that Dhoore's confirmed death deals "a significant blow to al-Shabab's operational planning and ability to conduct attacks against the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, its citizens, U.S. partners in the region, and against Americans abroad." The news of Dhoore's demise comes about three weeks after another airstrike against the militant group, when up to 150 al-Shabab members were killed at a training camp in Somalia. Al-Shabab denied the U.S. account, but the Somali prime minister's office confirmed the airstrike.