A senior, unnamed, Pentagon official speaking to Hurriyet news outlined four actors in Syria who were capable of carrying out the attack.
“These are the coalition, Russia, the Assad regime and Iran-backed Shia militias,” the official explained.
“It is not the coalition. ‘We didn’t,’ Russia said. There is no reason for them to conduct such an attack, and also there is no indication contradicting what they say,” he explained.
“So the only two left are the regime and the militias. Iran has the capability. We know that they have armed [unmanned aerial vehicles] UAVs. And there are Shia militias around Rasm al-Abboud where this UAV took off from. So it might be Iran,” he added.
Turkey has already concluded that the drone was Iranian-made but has not concluded who was responsible. In the Syrian conflict fighting on the side of Assad is the Iranian-backed Shiite Hezbollah militia, along with Shiite volunteers from Iraq and the Quds force, the extraterritorial branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Iran opposed Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation in Syria since it began last August 24, calling it an “unacceptable” violation of Syrian sovereignty.