In a “brazen violation of international law,” a Russian fighter jet struck the propeller of a US surveillance drone on Tuesday. It was over the Black Sea, further prompting American forces to take down the unmanned aircraft, according to the US.
Yet, Russia adamantly denied that its aircraft struck the MQ-9 Reaper drone. Instead, it said that after colliding with Russian fighter jets that had been dispatched to intercept it near Crimea. The drone made a quick maneuver and crashed into the water.
It appeared to be the first occasion since the height of the Cold War that an American aircraft was brought down. Following a run-in with a Russian warplane in the incident, which increased tensions between Russia and the US over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden informed about the situation:
According to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, national security advisor Jake Sullivan briefed US President Joe Biden. He continued by saying that representatives of the US State Department would communicate with their Russian colleagues personally. They will further “raise our concerns over this risky and unprofessional intercept.”
He said that the US summoned the Russian ambassador to express its displeasure. Lynne Tracy, the US ambassador to Russia, has made comparable appeals in Moscow.
Here’s the official statement from US officials:
Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets reportedly stopped the drone as it was flying in international airspace. According to the report, one of the Russian fighters crashed into the MQ-9’s propeller. It further prompted US forces to shoot it down in international waters.
Prior to it, the Su-27s repeatedly flew in front of the MQ-9, dumping gasoline on it in “a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional way,” according to a statement from the US European Command issued from Stuttgart, Germany. In addition to being dangerous and improper, it also showed a lack of skill, it continued.
The incident took place at 7.03 am Central European time (06.03 GMT; 11.30 am IST) over international waters, far from Ukraine, and after the Russian jets had flown close to the drone for 30 to 40 minutes, according to Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder.
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