A spokesman for the US Central Command, Colonel Joe Buccino, said that Russian pilots tried to engage US planes over Syria in a dogfight. The US military has released two videos showing maneuvers of Russian Su-35 fighters, described as “dangerous and unprofessional”.
Referring to the recordings, it appears that the Russian pilots are not trying to shoot down American planes, but they may be trying to “provoke” the United States and “drag us into an international incident,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Colonel Joe Buccino told CNN, referring to the recordings. Published by this command responsible for the actions of US forces in the Middle East.
The first footage is dated April 2, 2023, and shows a Russian Su-35 fighter making a “dangerous and unprofessional” interception of a US multirole F-16.
The second video, dated April 18, 2023, shows the Su-35, which, according to the American side, violated the airspace of the US-led coalition in Syria and was 2,000 feet (just over 600 meters) from the United States. Planes. This is the distance that a flying fighter can cover in a few seconds.
In recent years, Russia and the United States have formally followed a line of separation between the military forces fighting in Syria — the Russian-backed government forces and the US-led coalition. The idea was to avoid accidents or unintended confrontations that could lead to an escalation of activities in the area.
U.S. officials contacted their Russian counterparts about the recent events, but the Russians did not respond in a “confirming manner.”
Provocations in which Russian aircraft participate are increasing
According to data collected by the US military, since the beginning of March, Russian aircraft have violated protocols designed to prevent conflict escalation a total of 85 times, including by flying close to coalition bases. This also includes 26 cases in which armed Russian aircraft flew over US and coalition positions in Syria.
– This seems to be in line with the new way of working [Rosjan – przyp. red.] Colonel Boccino said in an interview with CNN. He added that the American pilots avoided engaging in battles and adhered to protocols related to procedures to ensure the prevention of escalation.
Main image source: US Air Force Central
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