Two US F-22 stealth fighters recently intercepted Russian jets over Syria and this was disclosed by two US defense officials. They added that these jets were firing warning flares in the course of the interception. According to them, there was another Russian Su-35 fighter jet in the same scene and the fatal encounter lasted for a number of minutes.
The officials said that coalition officers resorted to the pre-established de-confliction hotline in making contact with their Russian counterparts where they unpacked every bit of information regarding the incident.
The US Air Forces Central Command has over the years been entrusted with overseeing air operations and this time around the major focus was on Syria. Shortly after moving past the de-confliction line, two F-22A Raptors that were providing air cover for partner ground forces struggling to beat the ISIS in their own game proceeded to intercept the Russian Su-25s.
Damien Pickart, the Air Forces Central Command spokesman was the one that reported this in an interview he held with CNN.
In addition, he said, “The F-22s conducted multiple maneuvers to persuade the Su-25s to depart our de-conflicted airspace, including the release of chaff and flares in close proximity to the Russian aircraft and placing multiple calls on the emergency channel to convey to the Russian pilots that they needed to depart the area.”
Pickart was quick to point an accusing finger at the Russian pilots purporting to the fact that they were flying dangerously during the fatal encounter. He went further to state that there was one Su-25 that flew rather close to the F-22A and it was compelled to maneuver in a rather aggressive way in order to avoid the midair collision.
According to him, the encounter lasted for about 40 minutes after which the Russian aircraft moved west of the river and it was at that point when it got in touch with the Russians. It chose the de-confliction line in its bid to avert the strategic miscalculation as well as to de-escalate the situation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump in a joint statement pledged to move ahead with their plan to uphold the de-confliction measures.