Thursday, April 25, 2024

Pentagon accuses Russia of ‘very concerning’ behavior in Syria

The U.S. Air Force says Russian fighter jets flew dangerously close to several US drones over Syria.

Three Russian Su-35 fighter jets intercepted three U.S. Air Force MQ-9 “Reaper” unmanned aerial vehicles in northeastern Syria on Wednesday morning local time, according to the senior commander in charge of Air Force operations in the Middle East.

Air Force Lt. Gen Alex Grynkewich described the Russian maneuver against the MQ-9 Reaper drones – which officials said were monitoring ISIS targets in Syria – as “unsafe and unprofessional.”


The Russian SU-35 fighter aircraft employed parachute flares in the flight path of U.S. MQ-9 aircraft. Against established norms and protocols, this forced U.S. aircraft to conduct evasive maneuvers. Additionally, one Russian pilot positioned their aircraft in front of an MQ-9 and engaged afterburner, dynamically increasing speed and air pressure, which reduced the MQ-9 operator’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.

These events represent a new level of unprofessional and unsafe action by Russian air forces operating in Syria.

This is at least the second time this year that a confrontation between U.S. drones and Russian fighter jets has occurred. The Pentagon in March released video of a Russian fighter jet colliding with a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone in international air space, causing the drone to crash into the Black Sea.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.



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