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US Raps Russia For Second Warplane Stunt Over Syria In Less Than 24h

Shocking images released by US defence chiefs show how a Russian jet again dropped flares over an American drone in an apparent bid to knock it off course.

The stunt – the second in less than 24 hours – shows a Russian Su-35 fighter plane first buzzing the MQ-9 drone which was on a mission to observe Islamic State forces in Syria.

In the first clip – filmed on 5th July – the jet had got dangerously close to the drone and fired its engine afterburner.

And now another piece of footage obtained from the United States Air Force shows the Russian fighter jet dropping a number of flares right in front of an American UAV on Thursday, 6th July.

Newsflash obtained a statement from the United States Air Force Central on Thursday, 6th July, quoting Lieutenant General Alex Grynkewich as saying: “Russian military aircraft engaged in unsafe and unprofessional behavior Thursday, 9:30 A.M. local time, while interacting with U.S. MQ-9 drones carrying out our D-ISIS mission in Syria.

“Russian aircraft dropped flares in front of the drones and flew dangerously close, endangering the safety of all aircraft involved.”

He added: “This is the second instance of dangerous behaviors by Russian pilots within the past 24 hours, with the first happening Wednesday at approximately 10:40 A.M. local time.

“In that instance, Russian jets launched parachute flares at the drones and traveled dangerously close to the drones, forcing U.S. pilots to perform evasive maneuvers.

Russian military SU-34 and SU-35 aircraft employ flares in the flight path of a U.S. MQ-9 aircraft on July 6, 2023 over Syria. Russian forces have displayed increasingly unprofessional and unsafe actions while operating in Syria, threatening the safety of both U.S. and Russian forces. (United States Air Forces Central/Newsflash)

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

“We urge Russian forces in Syria to cease this reckless behavior and adhere to the standards of behavior expected of a professional air force so we can resume our focus on the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

The statement also quoted the lieutenant general as saying: “The U.S. Air Forces Central remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of its personnel and assets and continues to work closely with partners and allies to address these incidents and prevent any escalation of tensions in the region.

“The safety of military personnel and the success of the mission against ISIS depend on the professional and responsible conduct of all forces operating in the region.”

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