US: Russian fighter jet's flare damaged drone over Syria
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
US released a statement yesterday a Russian fighter jet "flew dangerously close" meters over a US drone flying a "defeat-ISIS [Islamic State]" mission over Syria on Sunday. According to the statement, the pilot of the Russian fighter released flares, one damaging the propeller of the MQ-9, which returned safely to its home base.
Lieutenant General, the commander of US Air Forces Central, said: "The Russian fighter's blatant disregard for flight safety detracts from our mission to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS." Grynkewich added: "We call upon the Russian forces in Syria to put an immediate end to this reckless, unprovoked, and unprofessional behavior."
Russia had not commented as of Tuesday.
According to US officials, the frequency of interactions between Russian and US military aircraft in Syrian airspace has been increasing. General, the chairman of the US , told reporters in a press conference the preceding week, "there is a bit of an uptick, but I wouldn't overstate it too much. I think that our forces have adequate rules of engagement and authorities provided to defend themselves." General Milley added: "As to [a] reason why there's a little bit of an uptick, I'm not really certain. We've got analysts trying to figure that out."
Both countries have maintained a military presence in Syria, Russia supporting President Bashar al-Assad's regime, and the US supporting the anti-Islamic State with approximately 900 troops. The Syrian and Russian governments have expressed opposition to the presence of US forces in Syria.
In March, the US House of Representatives voted against a resolution that would have required its nation to withdraw that mission.
- "US condemns Russian Defense Minister for awarding pilots who intercepted US drone" — Wikinews, March 24, 2023
- "US House of Representatives rejects resolution to order troop withdrawal from Syria" — Wikinews, March 11, 2023
- Bernd Debusmann Jr. "Russian jet damaged US drone with flares in Syria, says US" — , July 25, 2023
- Oren Liebermann. "Russian fighter jet damages US military drone over Syria" — , July 25, 2023
- "US says Russian plane hit drone with flare over Syria" — , July 25, 2023
- "US says Russian aircraft struck its drone with flare over Syria" — , July 25, 2023
- "Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark A. Milley Hold Press Conference Following Virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group Meeting" — , July 18, 2023
- "Why does the US still have forces in Syria?" — , August 24, 2022