(Republicaninformer.com)- Just two days after a Russian fighter jet harassed and collided with a US Military drone over the Black Sea, the commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) revealed that since the beginning of the month, there has been a “significant spike” in aggressive military flights by Russian aircraft in Syria, CNN reported.
In a hearing for the Senate Armed Services Committee last Thursday, CENTCOM commander General Erik Kurilla said Russian armed ground-attack aircraft have been flying over US military bases in Syria “in an attempt to try and be provocative.” According to Kurilla, such behavior is not expected from a “professional air force.”
When asked if such provocations were new, Kurilla said while it isn’t new, there has been a “significant spike” of such flights in Syria since the beginning of the month.
Kurilla described the aggressive flights as an example of the recent increase in “unprofessional and unsafe behavior” on the part of “the Russian air force in the region.”
Currently, there are approximately 900 US troops stationed at two separate bases in Syria as part of the ongoing effort to defeat the Islamic State. Russia and the United States maintain a deconfliction line between forces to ensure operations in the region do not result in an unintentional escalation or a miscalculation.
But according to Gen. Kurilla, Russia has been using these aggressive flights as a way to “renegotiate the deconfliction protocols” that they are violating “every day.”
Last Wednesday, during a joint press briefing with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that last Tuesday’s collision between the Russian Su-27 fighter jet and the US Military’s MQ-9 Reaper drone was “part of a pattern” of risky, aggressive, and unsafe actions in international airspace by Russian pilots.
According to Gen. Milley, this pattern of aggressive behavior by Russia is not limited to just the United States but is also directed at Great Britain and other countries as well.