Russian pilots tried to ‘dogfight’ American jets over Syria

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According to a spokesperson for US Central Command, Russian pilots have engaged in attempts to engage in aerial combat, known as “dogfighting,” with US jets over Syria.

This behavior is part of a recent pattern of increased aggression displayed by Russian pilots, CNN reported.

While the Russian pilots do not seem to be attempting to shoot down American jets, a US official informed CNN that their actions may be aimed at provoking the US and creating an international incident.

On April 2, US Central Command released a video showing a Russian SU-35 fighter jet conducting an intercept of a US F-16 fighter jet that was deemed “unsafe and unprofessional.”

Another video from April 18 captures a Russian fighter violating coalition airspace and coming within 2,000 feet of a US aircraft, a distance that can be covered by a fighter jet within seconds.

To avoid unintended mistakes or encounters that can potentially escalate tensions, the US and Russia have utilized a deconfliction line between their militaries in Syria over the past few years.

US officials have contacted their Russian counterparts regarding these recent incidents, and while the Russians have responded, they have not acknowledged the incidents directly, according to the US official.

Written by staff