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Air Force: Russian, US Planes Almost Crashed

Image: Air Force: Russian, US Planes Almost Crashed

A U.S. Air Force service member uses radio communication at the command and control center inside a coalition air base in Qayara. The U.S. military says Iraqi forces have retaken 40 villages from the Islamic State group near Mosul since a massive operation to drive the militants from the city began last week. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

By    |   Friday, 28 Oct 2016 05:13 PM

At the start of the Mosul offensive in Iraq, a Russian fighter came close to colliding with a U.S. warplane in a "near miss" over northeastern Syria, NBC News reported

Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the commander of U.S. Air Force Central Command, described the Oct. 17 incident as "middle of the night, probably somewhere around midnight," and told NBC News the aircraft were "inside of half a mile" from one another.

An unnamed senior U.S. military official told the outlet the planes came so close they they could feel each other's jet wash.

Harrigian said in some cases incidents like this are "not a big deal," adding: "I think it's important to recognize this one got our attention."

"We called the Russians about it and made sure they knew we were concerned," he said.

According to NBC News, the Russians said their pilot didn't see the American plane, and the United States accepted the explanation.

"They didn't have the situational awareness to know how close some of our airplanes were," Harrigian said.

He said similar situations have increased over the last six weeks, especially in northwest Syria. In those cases the U.S. pilots "maneuvered away" from the Russian aircraft so that "didn't find ourselves in a near miss situation."

Harrigian also acknowledged that a Russian aircraft intercepts a U.S. one "every ten days-ish."

"I don't see them having an intent to target us," he told NBC News, adding the U.S. remains focused on ISIS, "and not trying to pursue anything against the Russians."

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At the start of the Mosul offensive in Iraq, a Russian fighter came close to colliding with a U.S. warplane in a near miss over northeastern Syria, NBC News reported.
russia, us, airplanes, syria, crash
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2016-13-28
Friday, 28 Oct 2016 05:13 PM
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