Published: Fri, December 15, 2017
Markets | By Josh Butler

US Warplanes Fire Warning Flares at Russian Jets Over Syria

US Warplanes Fire Warning Flares at Russian Jets Over Syria

Two U.S. F-22 jets reportedly fired warning flares after two Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates River, which has been designated as a de-confliction line.

Pickart said the Russian aircraft returned to airspace on the west side of the river after approximately 40 minutes and multiple calls on the emergency de-confliction channel between USA and Russian forces in Syria.

Russian Federation described an alleged November 23 incident during which an F-22 Raptor maneuvered dangerously near two Su-25s before an Su-35 chased it away.

During one maneuver, an Su-25 flew so close to an F-22 "that it had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision", he said.

Lt Col Damien Pickart, a spokesman for the US Air Forces Central Command, warned Russians planes crossing the dividing line could end in aircraft being shot down.

However, the Russian defence ministry has denied the U.S. account.

The Euphrates River marks a de-confliction line; the USA and Russian Federation have agreed to contact each other if they are planning to cross to the other side of the line.

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The Air Force accused Russian fighter jets of flying dangerously close to U.S. jets multiple times over Syria in November in a Times article published last Friday.

In early November, the United States and the Russians agreed that the latter would keep west of the Euphrates River and the former to the east. "It's become increasingly tough for our pilots to discern whether Russian pilots' actions are deliberate or if these are just honest mistakes", he added.

But the US Air Force denies the incident ever happened and says it likely came in response to a critical article in The New York Times.

According to RT, the USA and Russian Federation established the de-confliction channel in 2015 as part of a "flight safety memorandum" in Syria.

"The Pentagon's representatives' conclusions on the withdrawal or non-withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria show not only their ill-concealed wishes that we should not be there but also that the USA does not have real information on what is happening on the ground", Konashenkov said.

"The Coalition's greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces", the Pentagon spokesman wrote in a statement. The ministry said the USA jets left the region after another Russian jet, a Su-35C, arrived.

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