A U.S.-led coalition’s MQ-9 drone “dangerously” approached Russian planes in Syria while three F-16s violated Syrian airspace, a top Russian official in Syria has claimed.
"Of special concern is a near-midair collision of a coalition’s MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle with Russian warplanes near al-Bab," Oleg Gurinov, deputy chief of Russian MoD’s Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Parties in Syria said on Sunday.
The coalition’s drones used their fire guidance systems on Russian planes, automatically triggering their onboard defense systems, Gurinov added.
"Russian pilots once again demonstrated high professionalism and took timely measures to prevent collisions with the coalition’s unmanned aerial vehicles," he said.
According to him, ten violations of the deconfliction protocols of December 9, 2019 linked with the flights by the coalition drones were reported in Syria in the past 24 hours.
"Three pairs of the coalition’s F-16 fighter jets violated Syria’s airspace in the al-Tanf area, across which international air routes run, six times during the day," he added.