Russian military aircraft damages US MQ-9 drone over Syria: US Central Command

In a similar instance on July 9, Russian fighter jets flew dangerously close to MQ-9 drones and dropped flares in front of the drones that were carrying out surveillance against ISIS outfits over the region. US called out Russian forces terming the behaviour as “unprofessional and unsafe” and urged to cease. 

US Central Command also known as CentCom on Thursday issued a statement claiming that a Russian fighter plane flew dangerously close to the US air force MQ-9 drone which was deployed for an ISIS defeat mission.

Lt Gen Alex Grynkewich in the statement said, “On 23 July 2023 at 12:23 a.m. (EST) Russian fighter aircraft flew dangerously close to a U.S. 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 the aircraft. One of the Russian flares struck the U.S. 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.

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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 behavior.”

In a similar instance on July 9, Russian fighter jets flew dangerously close to MQ-9 drones and dropped flares in front of the drones that were carrying out surveillance against ISIS outfits over the region. US called out Russian forces terming the behaviour as “unprofessional and unsafe” and urged to cease.

The damage of MQ-9 drone on July 23 is the third such instance within a month were drones flown by US air forces were hackled by Russian fighter jets in the midst of ariel operations against ISIS.