April 2, 2023

Washington’s declare {that a} Russian fighter jet collided with a US surveillance drone close to Crimea Inflicting it to crash is each a uncommon army incident between the 2 superpowers and a severe escalation in already tense relations since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine final yr.

US and Russian officers have given conflicting accounts of what occurred on Tuesday over the Black Sea between the MQ-9 Reaper drone, valued at greater than $30m and full of delicate US spying know-how, and two Russian Su-27 fighter jets that had been deployed to intercept the US plane.

Here is what we all know in regards to the incident to this point:

What the US stated occurred

The Pentagon stated two Russian Su-27 plane intercepted the drone and proceeded to dump gas on the MQ-9 Reaper mannequin because it performed routine surveillance over the Black Sea in worldwide airspace.

US officers stated the Russian jets flew round and in entrance of the drone a number of instances for 30 to 40 minutes, after which one of many Su-27 fighters “struck the propeller” of the drone, “inflicting US forces to should convey the MQ -9 down in worldwide waters”.

A Pentagon spokesman stated the collision possible broken the Russian fighter jet, although the Su-27 did land.

It’s not clear if the collision was an accident or intentional on the a part of the Russian pilots, however either side align in reporting that Russian plane had intercepted the drone.

US officers stated the drone was working in worldwide airspace, reportedly west of Crimea over the Black Sea.

The Reaper (Al Jazeera)

Russia’s place

The Russian protection ministry stated the drone was flying close to Russia’s border and intruded into an space that was declared off limits by Russian authorities.

Fighter jets scrambled to intercept the drone, which the Russian ambassador to the US claimed had turned off its transponders – a chunk of kit that enables an plane to be recognized within the air.

The protection ministry stated the 2 fighter jets didn’t use their on-board weapons in opposition to the US drone and didn’t come into bodily contact with the plane. The drone crashed for its personal causes, the ministry stated.

“Because of fast manoeuvring, the MQ9 went into unguided flight with lack of altitude & collided with the water floor,” the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC stated in a tweet citing the ministry.

“The MQ-9 drone flew with its transponders off, violating the boundaries of the momentary airspace regime established for the particular army operation, communicated to all customers of worldwide airspace, and revealed in accordance with worldwide requirements,” the embassy stated.

Russia has declared broad areas close to Crimea off limits to flights. The US doesn’t acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea following the invasion of the territory in 2014.

Russia’s ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov stated the US drone had gathered intelligence that was then utilized by Ukrainian forces to assault Russia.

“We’re effectively conscious of the missions such reconnaissance and strike drones are used for,” the ambassador stated on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. US drone flights within the area collect intelligence “which is later utilized by the Kiev regime to assault our armed forces and territory”, he stated.

diplomatic fallout

The US State Division summoned Ambassador Antonov to a gathering with Karen Donfried, the assistant secretary of state for Europe.

US State Division spokesman Ned Value stated: “We’re partaking immediately with the Russians, once more at senior ranges, to convey our sturdy objections to this unsafe, unprofessional intercept, which prompted the downing of the unmanned US plane.”

US Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin has not spoken along with his Russian counterpart concerning the incident, Ryder stated.

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, stated through the present tensions between Russia and the US over the invasion of Ukraine, the drone incident was “probably very severe”.

“Any incident like this, with the state of affairs as tenuous as it’s, is an issue for either side,” he stated.

“However what we’re seeing right here is an try maybe by either side to not enable the state of affairs to escalate additional,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *