Russian jet drops fuel on a US drone off the coast of Crimea on Tuesday. (TGP screen grab)
On Tuesday, U.S. officials reported that a USAF MQ9 drone crashed after allegedly being disabled by one of two Russian Su-27 fighter jets. The Gateway Pundit reported that U.S. European Command claimed that the Russian fighters dumped fuel on the drone, flew in front of it and eventually collided with it, breaking it’s propeller and forcing U.S. controllers to crash the drone into the sea.
According to the Dept. of Defense:
A Russian Su-27 aircraft struck a U.S. Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle’s propeller, causing U.S. forces to bring it down into international waters of the Black Sea early this morning, according to U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa in a statement today.
“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on, and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” Hecker stated.
The incident most likely caused damage to the Russian aircraft, although it was able to land, he said.
The Russian Defence Ministry released a conflicting statement.
Russia’s defence ministry said Tuesday it scrambled fighter jets following the detection of a US drone over the Black Sea but denied causing it to crash despite accusations from Washington.
The defence ministry in Moscow said it detected an American MQ-9 drone “over the waters of the Black Sea in the area of the Crimean peninsula” flying “towards the Russian state border”.
It added that the drone was flying with its “transponders turned off” and fighter jets were scrambled “to identify” it.
On Tuesday State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters the incident was likely an “unintentional act” from Russia’s side.
On Wednesday morning the US Department of Defense released video of the Russian assault on the US drone. The attack was clearly intentional. The Brandon State Department was wrong again.
#BREAKING US army published the footage from the drone incident with Russia over the Black Sea pic.twitter.com/ney41fNjGb
— Guy Elster (@guyelster) March 16, 2023