US Air Forces Central released a video late Wednesday of Russian fighter jets engaging in “unsafe” and “unprofessional” behavior while interacting with American drones in Syria.
“While three U.S. MQ-9 drones were conducting a mission against ISIS targets, three Russian fighter jets began harassing the drones,” said Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, commander of 9th Air Force in the Middle East, in a statement.
“Against established norms and protocols, the Russian jets dropped multiple parachute flares in front of the drones, forcing our aircraft to conduct evasive maneuvers,” said the statement.
In addition, one Russian pilot positioned their jet in front of an MQ-9 and engaged afterburner, thereby reducing the operator’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.
“These events represent another example of unprofessional and unsafe actions by Russian air forces operating in Syria, which threaten the safety of both U.S. and Russian forces,” said the statement.
“We urge Russian forces in Syria to cease this reckless behavior and adhere to the standards of behavior expected of a professional air force so we can resume our focus on the enduring defeat of ISIS,” it added.