KUWAIT CITY, A Russian fighter plane flew dangerously close to a U.S. plane over eastern Syria, U.S. defense officials said Friday.
The incident on Oct. 17 involved a Russian fighter plane escorting a larger surveillance plane in “the middle of the night,” Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigan, commander of the U.S. Air Forces Central Command said. He added he suspected the Russian pilot could not locate the U.S. plane in the dark, and that they passed “inside of a half a mile” of each other.
Harrigan noted a similar situation, of Russian and U.S. planes in near-miss proximity over Syria, has occurred roughly once every ten days.
Russia flies constant air patrols over Syria, most over the city of Aleppo, and routinely passes through airspace in which planes of the U.S.-led coalition can be found, officials said. The Pentagon regularly points out examples of unsafe or unprofessional behavior in air operations.
By Ed Adamczyk