Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Danger Zone: Russian Fighter Comes ‘Really, Really Close’ To Navy Plane
A Russian SU-27 fighter came dangerously close to a Navy EP-3 Aries reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, defense officials said on Monday.
- The Navy aircraft was in international airspace and had its transponder on as the SU-27 made two close passes on Monday, said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.
- “We classified it as unsafe,” Pahon told reporters. “They didn’t establish radio contact. They came really, really close to our aircraft. I don’t have an estimate of distance – but really, really close to our aircraft – and then they engaged the afterburners and the entire aircraft shook.
- “There’s just absolutely no reason for this type of behavior,” he continued. “This type of behavior is unacceptable. We call attention to it when it does occur. It puts our aircraft and air crews in danger.”
- Monday’s incident was the second such close encounter since January, when another Russian SU-27 came within five feet of a Navy EP-3 and then crossed through the Navy aircraft’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the Russian fighter’s jet wash.
- The Russian defense ministry denied that one of its fighters flew too close to a Navy EP-3, Nikolay Lakhonin, a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., told Task & Purpose.
- “In an official statement, the ministry stressed that it had scrambled the jet after radars detected an unknown aerial target approaching the Russian border,” Lakhonin said in an email. “‘The jet's crew reported identifying the US reconnaissance plane and accompanied it, preventing a violation of Russian airspace and followed all necessary safety procedures,’ the statement said.”
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.