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U.S. drone makes emergency landing in Turkish province bordering Syria

The landing comes after Turkey shot down a Russian drone flying over its airspace near Syria last week.

By
Fred Lambert
An Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial attack vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2009. On Oct. 19, 2015, a U.S. drone was forced to make an emergency landing in southern Turkey after suffering a technical failure. Since July 2015, U.S. military forces have deployed drone and fighter aircraft from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey against Islamic State militants in Syria. UPI/Brian Ferguson/U.S. Air Force
An Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial attack vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on Nov. 27, 2009. On Oct. 19, 2015, a U.S. drone was forced to make an emergency landing in southern Turkey after suffering a technical failure. Since July 2015, U.S. military forces have deployed drone and fighter aircraft from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey against Islamic State militants in Syria. UPI/Brian Ferguson/U.S. Air Force | License Photo

KIRIKHAN, Turkey, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A U.S. drone was forced to make an emergency landing in southern Turkey near the Syrian border on Monday, officials say.

Hurriyet Daily News, quoting military sources, reports the drone suffered a malfunction to its motor and landed in the Kırıkhan district of southern Turkey's Hatay province.

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Since July, Turkey has permitted the United States to use the Incirlik Air Base, in the southern Adana province, to deploy fighter jets and drones against Islamic State targets in Syria.

On Sunday, U.S. officials said they conducted an airstrike in northwestern Syria that killed Sanafi al-Nasr, the highest-ranking leader of the al-Qaida-linked Khorasan group.

The July deal came shortly after a suicide bombing killed more than 30 people in Suruc, Turkey, bringing the Ankara government into the the U.S.-led coalition against IS.

Last week, Turkey said its air force shot down a Russian-made drone flying over its air space near Syria.

It was the latest violation of Turkish air space by Russia, which has since Sept. 30 conducted airstrikes against Syrian rebels on behalf of its regional ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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In one incident on Oct. 5, two Turkish Air Force F-16s intercepted a Russian fighter aircraft in the Yayladağı-Hatay region before escorting it back into Syrian air space.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg later suggested the incursions were deliberate.

The emergency landing occurred a day before Russian and U.S. officials signed an agreement designed to prevent conflict between both countries' warplanes in the skies over Syria, where both nations are conducting airstrikes independent of one another.

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