Russian aircraft harassed American drones taking part in operations against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria on Thursday for the second time in 24 hours, a US commander said.
Moscow’s “military aircraft engaged in unsafe and unprofessional behavior Thursday, 9:30 am local time, while interacting with US MQ-9 drones,” Air Force Lieutenant General Alexus Grynkewich said in a statement.
The planes “dropped flares in front of the drones and flew dangerously close, endangering the safety of all aircraft involved,” he said.
The previous day, Grynkewich said Russian jets also dropped flares in front of US MQ-9s, while one pilot turned on their plane’s afterburner in front of a drone.
Earlier this year, the United States said a Russian jet clipped the propeller of a drone operating over the Black Sea, causing it to crash. Moscow denied it was responsible.
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