Russian fighter jet deploys flares near US MQ-9 Reaper drone, damages UAV (WATCH)
Russia's military engaged in dangerous behaviour by firing flares at a US drone, causing significant damage to its propeller. The incident occurred during a mission targeting ISIS forces. US authorities have called for an immediate end to such reckless actions
A Russian fighter aircraft damaged an American drone flying over Syria by deploying flares at the US. The incident occurred when a Russian fighter jet dangerously approached the US MQ-9 Reaper, an unmanned aerial vehicle, during a mission targeting ISIS forces. The incident happened on July 23. Lt Gen Alexus Grynkewich, Commander of the 9th AF and Combined Forces Air Component reported that the Russian fighter flew perilously close to the MQ-9 drone, deploying flares directly overhead, which struck the US aircraft's propeller, causing severe damage. Despite the incident, the MQ-9 crew managed to maintain flight and safely return the drone to its base.
Giving details, Lt Gen Grynkewich said in a statement: "On 23 July 2023 at 12:23 am (EST) or 9:53 am IST, Russian fighter aircraft flew dangerously close to a US MQ-9 drone on a defeat-ISIS mission, harassing the MQ-9 and deploying flares from a position directly overhead, with only a few meters of separation between aircraft. One of the Russian flares struck the US MQ-9, severely damaging its propeller. Fortunately, the MQ-9 crew was able to maintain flight and safely recover the aircraft to its home base."
The behaviour of the Russian military aircraft has raised serious concerns about flight safety and interferes with the mission to defeat ISIS. "The Russian fighter’s blatant disregard for flight safety detracts from our mission to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS. We call upon the Russian forces in Syria to put an immediate end to this reckless, unprovoked, and unprofessional behaviour,” Lt Gen Grynkewich added.
US authorities have called upon Russian forces in Syria to immediately cease such reckless and unprofessional actions. These recent incidents mark the second instance of dangerous behaviour by Russian pilots toward US drones within a short period, highlighting ongoing tensions in the region.