US Armed Forces Central Command Air Force Chief Lt. Gen. Alex Grinkevich said Tuesday (July 25th) that two days ago a Russian fighter attempted to shoot down a US MQ-9 Reaper drone over Syria. A Russian fighter jet fired flares and damaged the drone.
It is reported that the drone’s propeller was damaged in the collision. “We call on the Russian forces in Syria to immediately put an end to this irresponsible and unprofessional behavior,” Alex Grinkevich said in an interview with the AP news agency.
In turn, on July 23, Oleg Gurinov, deputy head of the Russian center for the reconciliation of the belligerents in Syria, announced a “dangerous approach” of an American MQ-9 drone by Russian planes in the region of Al-Bab. As a result, according to him, there was an automatic operation of on-board defense systems.
US and Russia accuse each other of violations
On July 9, Grinkevich said Russian warplanes were carrying out “dangerous and unprofessional” activities near American drones. According to the US military, three of their drones carried out a mission in the fight against the terrorist group Islamic State. At this time, they “began to pursue” three Russian fighters. They approached the drones and “fired parachute flares” along the UAV’s flight path.
The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the United States in recent months of a significant increase in the number of violations in Syria. According to him, in June there were 315 cases of violations in Syria linked to flights of drones and planes of the US-led coalition.