Pentagon chides Russian Federation over 'unsafe' intercept of United States spy plane

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 21, 2017

The Russian Su-27 maneuvered its wingtip within a few feet of the larger, slower RC-135 for several minutes, said Meghan Henderson, a spokeswoman for U.S. European Command.

The Russian jet then passed under the USA aircraft and came up near the other wing tip.

Russian fighter su-27 flew very close to the reconnaissance aircraft of the United States.

The incident took place 25 miles northwest of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which is located between Lithuania and Poland in northern Europe.

It's not known how many US crew members were on the plane.

Russia's threat came in response to the U.S.'s downing of a Syrian military jet Sunday, the first direct attack of its kind in the six-year-long conflict in Syria. Russia, which is aligned with the Syrian government and carrying out military operations in Syria alongside it, condemned the incident and said Monday that it would track USA aircraft over Syria.

Before the day of the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry said it would treat any US aircraft as a potential target flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria, following the shoot-down of a Syrian jet by the US Navy jet that was targeting US aligned aircrafts.

The pilot of the Russian plane "reacted to the RC-135 maneuver" and continued to escort the spy plane until it turned away from the Russian border.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters: "We were flying in worldwide airspace and did nothing to provoke this behaviour". A Su-27 fighter jet of the Baltic Fleet air defense alert unit was scrambled to intercept the target.

"The Russian pilot offered a reaction to the RC-135's maneuver, after which continued to escort the USA reconnaissance plane until it changed its route off the Russian border", the ministry said. US officials report that the majority of these encounters have been "safe" and "professional".

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