Russian jets and American drone, accident or attack? What we know and the risks of an escalation
“There have been other similar interceptions, but this one is noteworthy because it was dangerous and unprofessional, unique in this regard”: in the words of National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, all the concern for the incident in the skies of the Sea Black.
The dynamics of the incident in the US Army note
A Russian Su-27 fighter jet shot down a US Reaper drone over the Black Sea, the US military has announced. “Our MQ-9 drone was performing routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and struck by a Russian aircraft, resulting in the crash and loss of the MQ-9,” said General James Hecker, commander of the forces. American armies in Europe and Africa. The Russian jet struck the propeller of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, knocking it into the water and causing its loss, the US military said in a statement. But that’s not all: before the collision, two Su-27s “dumped fuel and flew in front of the MQ-9,” the note continues.
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What are Mq-9 drones and what are they for
The United States uses MQ-9s for both surveillance and strikes and has used drones in a variety of locations, including the Middle East and Africa. Other countries, including Britain and France, also fly MQ-9 Reapers. The US has lost several such models in recent years, also due to hostile actions. One was shot down in 2019 over Yemen with a surface-to-air missile launched by Huthi rebels, who also unsuccessfully fired on another of the drones a few days later, US central command said. According to media reports, a US MQ-9 crashed in Libya in 2022, while another went down during an exercise in Romania earlier this year and another was lost in Libya in 2019.
“US and allied aircraft will continue to operate in international airspace,” Hecker concluded, adding “we ask the Russians to behave in a professional and safe manner.”
The fear of an escalation
President Biden was informed by the national security adviser while the US Air Force spokesman expressly clarified that “Russian actions can lead to an unintentional escalation”. “We don’t know what the Russian intention was, but if the message was to deter our overflights in international airspace over the Black Sea, or our navigation in international waters over the Black Sea, it is doomed to fail,” he said. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby cut short