Friday, 20 April, 2018

US jets intercept Russian planes over Syria and fire warning flares

F 22 Raptors US jets intercept Russian planes over Syria and fire warning flares
Scott Davis | 15 December, 2017, 09:41

One of the two F-22 U.S. jets was nearly involved in a mid-air collision with a Russian plane during the incident which lasted "several minutes", one American official said.

The unnamed official went on to say that Russian aircraft left the safe zone after flares were launched. One of the Su-25 aircraft flew near an F-22A and the F-22A performed evasive maneuvers.

During one maneuver, an Su-25 flew so close to an F-22 "that it had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision", he said.

"Since agreeing to this deconfliction arrangement, the Russians have flown into our airspace on the east side of the river 6-8 times per day, or approximately 10 percent of the Russian and Syrian flights", Pickart noted. However, he said, the coalition would defend itself or SDF fighters if they were threatened. The Russians, and the Syrian regime forces they support, agreed to remain west of the river, while the coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces agreed to remain to its east.

A pair of U.S. warplanes intercepted two Russian Federation jets over a part of Syria they were not supposed to be operating in, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Su-35       Sukhoi
Su-35 Sukhoi

"The greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our ground forces", USAF spokesman Lt. Col Damien Pickart told CNN.

"The Pentagon's representatives' conclusions on the withdrawal or non-withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria show not only their ill-concealed wishes that we should not be there but also that the United States does not have real information on what is happening on the ground", Konashenkov said.

Agreements to deconflict were reviewed in September after Russian targeted and wounded US proxy forces near Deir al-Zour, another city on the river where Islamic State fighters have converged in recent months.

The incident came just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during a visit to a base in Syria he would scale back air operations, a suggestion that triggered skepticism in the Pentagon based on earlier statements of force reductions that never materialized. The official has also confirmed that the militaries of the two countries have discussed the incident.




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