Pentagon told about dangerous rapprochement of Russian and American aircraft over Syria


Dangerous proximity of Russian and American aircraft happened in the skies over Syria, which could possibly lead to clash.

This was announced by the Air Force Lieutenant General Jeff Harrigian, who is in charge of the U.S. air operations in the Middle East, said CNN on October 28.

According to Pentagon officials, the incident occurred on the night of October 17.

Both aircraft performed a flight with lights off, and went half a mile (800 meters) of each other.

As Harrigian stated, American pilot tried to contact with the Russian through the channels for emergency communications, but his call was ignored. The next day after the incident, on October 18, Pentagon officials contacted their Russian counterparts, who said the Russian fighter pilot did not notice the dangerous convergence.

Harrigian noted that the risk of such incidents has increased in recent weeks due to the increased presence of U.S. Air Forces in northwest Syria, where an operation for the release of the Raqqa city from the militants of the Islamic State is taking place.

The general also reminded about the aggravation of US-Russian relations in connection with the situation in Syria, concluding that if there was a collision, “people would not believe that was just a mistake”.