A Russian fighter jet has fostered down a U.S Air Force drone over the Black Sea Tuesday after damaging the propeller of the American
MQ-9 Reaper drone.
According to a statement from U.S European command, the Reaper drone and two Russian su-27 aircraft were flying over international waters over the Black Sea but one of the Russian Jets intentionally flew in front of and dumped fuel on the Oman drone drone several times.
Patrick Ryder said the Russian aircraft flew in the vicinity of the Drone for 30 to 40 minutes before colliding just after 7 A.M Central European Time
the incident marks the first time Russian and U.S military aircraft have come into direct physical contact since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine just over a year ago and is likely to increase tensions between the two nations with U.S calling Russia Russia’s actions Reckless environmentally unsound and unprofessional.
Russian ambassador to the U.S and Anatoly Antonov said Russia does not want confrontation between his country and the US after he was summoned to the state department following the Downing of the Drone.
Russia has not recovered the drone and the jet was likely damaged, the Pentagon said.
“In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash,” U.S. Air Force General James Hecker, who oversees the U.S. Air Force in the region, said in a statement.
Russia’s defence ministry denied that its aircraft had come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which it said had crashed after “sharp maneuvering”.
It said the drone had been detected near the Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
“The Russian fighters did not use their onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV and returned safely to their home airfield,” the defence ministry said.
“This is a very sensitive stage in this conflict because it really is the first direct contact that the public knows about between the West and Russia,” Elisabeth Braw, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said.
“As for us, we do not want any confrontation between the United States and Russia. We are in favour of building pragmatic relations for the benefit of the Russian and American peoples,” Antonov was quoted as saying.
The incident in the Black Sea, which is bordered by Russia and Ukraine among other countries, is the first such direct encounter between the two world powers since Russia invaded Ukraine over a year ago.
The United States, which has provided tens of billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, has not become directly engaged in the war but it does conduct regular surveillance flights in the region.
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