U.S. Drones Violated Russian-Syrian Drills Area, Almost Got Shot Down (Video)

Thursday 6 July 2023 - 19:34

The United States has claimed that Russian fighter jets harassed its drones over Syria, while Russia said that the drones were flying in an area where joint drills with the Syrian military are taking place.

Russian fighter jets harassed American combat drones on an anti-ISIS mission over Syria, the U.S. military said late on July 5.

“Earlier today at approximately 10:40 AM, Russian military aircraft engaged in unsafe and unprofessional behavior while interacting with US aircraft in Syria,” said Lieutenant General Alex Grynkewich, the US general responsible for air operations in the Middle East.

According to Grynkewich, three MQ-9 drones were on a mission against ISIS targets when three Russian fighter jets began the harassment.

The video published by the US CENTCOM

Video footage released by the U.S. Air Forces Central showed Russian jets dropping multiple parachute flares in front of one MQ-9 , forcing it to conduct evasive maneuvers. One Russian pilot then positioned its fighter jet in front of a MQ-9 and engaged the afterburner, making it difficult for the drone to fly safely.

“These events represent another example of unprofessional and unsafe actions by Russian air forces operating in Syria, which threaten the safety of both US and Russian forces,” Grynkewich said.

The commander urged Russian forces in Syria to stop their “reckless behavior” and comply with standards of behavior expected of a professional air force “so we can resume our focus on the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Oleg Gurinov, deputy chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, said in a statement that U.S. drones flew over an area where joint Russian-Syrian drills five times in violation of flight safety protocols.

According to the commander, the Russian side once again expresses concern over the violations of the protocols linked with the flights of the U.S.-led coalition’s drones.

“During the day, twelve violations were reported, including five over an area that was closed for flights due to the joint Russian-Syrian drills in northern Syria. We remind that the Russian side bears no responsibility for the safety of flight of unmanned aerial vehicles, which were not agreed with the Russian side,” Gurinov said.

The Russian and Syrian militaries launched joint aerial drills on July 5. The drills, which will go on for six days, will include actions by aviation, air defense forces and electronic warfare to repel air attacks. U.S. drones were likely spying on the drills, not conducting a mission against an ISIS target as the U.S. military claimed.

Tensions between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria have been mounting since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine. Last month, the U.S. deployed F-22 Raptors from Langley Air Force Base to the Middle East as a part of efforts to expand operations over the war-torn country.

Unlike Russia, the U.S. military presence in Syria is not sanctioned by Damascus. The country considers this presence to be an occupation.

The U.S. attempts to expand its drone operations over Syria without coordinating with the Russian side will eventually lead to an incident.

Source: SouthFront.org

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