Russian fighter plane destroys US drone flying over Syria

The US military reported on Tuesday that a Russian aircraft damaged the US drone’s propeller by launching flares at it over Syria.

The commander of US Air Forces Central, Lieutenant General Alex Grynkewich, revealed in a statement that on Sunday, a Russian fighter aircraft harassed and fired flares at a US MQ-9 drone that was on an ISIS-defeating mission from a position directly overhead, with only a few meters separating the two aircraft.

One of the Russian flares seriously damaged the US MQ-9’s propeller when it was struck by one. Fortunately, the MQ-9 crew was able to keep the aircraft in the air and return it safely to its home base, according to the commander of US Air Force Central.

The Russian fighter’s blatant disregard for flight safety compromises our efforts to permanently destroy ISIS. We demand that the Russian military in Syria stop their careless, unwarranted, and unprofessional behavior right away,” he continued.

The Sunday incident is the most recent in a string of run-ins between US and Russian planes over Syria.

A similar event occurred over the Black Sea in March when a Russian Su-27 fighter plane collided with a similar US drone, destroying its propeller and causing it to crash into the ocean, according to CNN.

Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated last week that US analysts are looking at possible causes for the rise in aggressive Russian acts.

According to CNN, some of the encounters in Syria have lasted up to two hours, according to US sources.

In a dangerous and unprofessional maneuver, Russian military aircraft earlier on July 16 engaged a US aircraft in Syria.

A US MC-12 was conducting operations in support of the Coalition to Defeat ISIS mission when a Russian Su-35 approached it closely in violation of accepted norms and protocols, forcing the MC-12 to fly through its wake turbulence, according to a statement from Grynkewich, the head of US Air Forces Central, dated July 18.

This made it harder for the crew to fly the plane safely and endangered the lives of the four crew members. The acts by Russian planes operating in Syria against a manned aircraft mark a new low in terms of propriety and professionalism. We sternly advise Russian personnel in Syria to stop acting dangerously and provocatively so as to avoid an accident and human casualties and to act in accordance with the rules of conduct expected of a professional military, he said.

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