Officials in the US said one of their military drones has been intercepted by Russia before it crashed into the Black Sea
A US military drone has been shot down by Russian fighter jets as it crashed into the Black Sea.
According to Reuters the incident took place on Tuesday, March 14, and is the first such event to take place eversince the Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
A statement issued by the Pentagon said, “One of the Russian Su-27 jets struck the propeller of the drone, making it inoperable”.
Meanwhile the Russian defence ministry has stated that the drone had not been intercepted by their fighter jets and it crash after making a “sharp maneuver”.
The incident has been condemned by the White house and the Pentagon and have “warned of the risk of escalation”.
Officials said that after the crash, NATO allies have also been informed about the incident.
The U.S. military has described the incident as a “reckless intercept” and said that one of the Russian Su-27 collied with the spy drone at 7.03 am (0603 GMT).
“Several times before the collision, the Russian fighter jets dumped fuel on the MQ-9 — possibly trying to blind or damage it — and flew in front of the unmanned drone in unsafe maneuvers”, said a statement by the U.S. military. U.S. Air Force General James Hecker who is incharge of the U.S Airforce in the region stated that “Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,”
He added, “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”
Russia on the other side has said that “The Russian fighters did not use their onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV, and returned safely to their home airfield”.
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