The United States lost two of their top-end drones in an apparent collision over Idlib, Syria according to officials within the Department of Defense.

The two drones may have been targeted by militants on the ground.

Several MQ-9 Reaper drones have been sighted over the Idlib area. Last week one may have been used to kill an Uzbek military trainer of the terrorist group Hurras al-Din, which is linked to al-Qaeda. 

Militant groups allied with Turkey, which opposes the Assad regime in Syria, have claimed to have shot down two drones, belonging to the Russians. However, the pictures and videos that were posted on social media appear to show an MQ-9.

The MQ-9 Reaper is the United States’ top-end unmanned aerial vehicle that can be utilized as surveillance, intelligence-gathering, or a hunter-killer drone that has been extensively used by military and CIA in the Middle East.

Turkey has supplied its troops and the militias affiliated with it with man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS). If the Turks or their militias were the ones that engaged the American drones, they may have done so mistaking them for Russian ones, as the U.S. wouldn’t be targeting either the Turks or their militias. 

Twitter was filled with images of burning aircraft crashing to the ground.