WASHINGTON: Russian fighter jets again flew dangerously close to several US drones over Syria on Thursday, triggering a fire and forcing the MQ-9 Reapers to make an evasive maneuver, the Air Force said. . This was the second time in 24 hours that Russia has disturbed American drones there. US Air Chief Lieutenant General Alex Grinkevich said, “We urge Russian forces in Syria to stop this reckless behavior and adhere to the standards of behavior expected of a professional air force so that we can focus on the permanent defeat of ISIS.” Can do. Forces Central Command said in a statement.
Colonel Michael Andrews, a spokesman for Air Force Central Command, said, “The Russian harassment, which included a Su-34 and an Su-35 flying close by and deploying flares directly at the MQ-9, lasted about an hour. So it was not a quick flight, but a continuous and non-professional conversation.”
US Air Force Central released video of two separate incidents that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday. In the first incident, which occurred at about 10:40 local time on Wednesday in northwestern Syria, Russian Su-35 fighter jets closed in on a Reaper, and one of the Russian pilots steered his plane in front of a drone and SU- Entangled. 35’s afterburner, which greatly increases its speed and air pressure.
The jet blast from the afterburner could potentially damage the Reaper’s electronics, and Grinkevich said this reduced the drone operator’s ability to operate the aircraft safely. Later, several so-called parachute flares moved into the drone’s flight path. Flares are attached to the parachute.
In the second incident, which occurred at about 9:30 a.m. local time on Thursday in northwestern Syria, “Russian aircraft dropped flares in front of the drone and flew in a dangerous manner, endangering the safety of all aircraft involved,” Grinkevich said. Said. The drones were not equipped with weapons and are usually used for reconnaissance missions.
The head of US Central Command, Army General Eric Kurila, said in a statement that Russia’s violations “raise the risk of escalation or miscalculation” in ongoing efforts to clear the airspace over Syria.
About 900 US troops are stationed in Syria to work with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces to fight Islamic State militants.