Russia says US-led coalition violated Syrian airspace 16 times over past day

Russia says US-led coalition violated Syrian airspace 16 times over past day

Deputy head of Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria says US drone almost collided with Russian fighter jet in Raqqa province

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - The US-led coalition violated Syrian airspace 16 times in one day, a Russian military official said Tuesday.

Rear Admiral Vadim Kulit, deputy head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, said 16 violations were recorded in the area of the US Al-Tanf military base involving three pairs of F-16 fighter jets, one pair of F-35 fighter jets, one pair of Typhoon fighter jets, one pair of Rafale fighter jets, three MQ-1C multi-purpose unmanned aerial vehicles and one MC-12W reconnaissance aircraft of the coalition.

He also said that an MQ-9 drone of the US-led coalition approached a Russian Su-34 fighter jet "at a dangerous distance" of less than 100 meters (328 feet) in height in Raqqa province.

According to Kulit, the Russian side was not notified about the drone flight, which is usually done to avoid incidents, in a process called "deconflicting."

"The Russian pilots demonstrated high professionalism by taking the necessary measures in a timely manner to prevent a collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle of the coalition.

"The aviation of the so-called international anti-terrorist coalition led by the US continues to create dangerous situations in the skies of Syria, flying in violation of deconflicting protocols and violating Syrian airspace," he said.

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