(Republicaninformer.com)- A Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with a US military drone in international airspace over the Black Sea on Tuesday morning, forcing drone operators to bring it down off the coast of Ukraine, ABC News reported.
The collision was denounced by the US State Department as “unsafe and unprofessional” and a “brazen violation of international law.”
After being summoned to a meeting with US officials, Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, insisted that Russian jets did not fire on the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
Russian officials claimed that the US drone, which they said acted like an “intruder,” was flying toward Russian borders.
US European Command (EUCOM), said in a statement that it was a “dangerous” incident that could have led to “miscalculation” and “unintended escalation.”
According to EUCOM, the pilot of the Su-27 jet displayed a “lack of competence” and was “unsafe” and “unprofessional.” Before colliding with the drone, the Su-27 dumped fuel on the drone and recklessly flew in front of it in an “unprofessional” and “environmentally unsound” manner.
In the collision, a propeller blade on the Reaper drone was bent, and while controllers briefly lost contact with the drone, they were able to glide it into the Black Sea a “fair distance” from the collision, a US official said.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that while it is common for Russian jets to intercept US aircraft over the Black Sea, Tuesday’s incident was the first time it resulted in one of the US drones splashing down.
During Tuesday’s State Department press briefing, press secretary Ned Price said US officials were “engaging directly” with Moscow to convey objections to Russia’s “unsafe, unprofessional intercept.”
While appearing on Fox News’s “Hannity” Tuesday night, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, eager for direct conflict with Russia, told Sean Hannity that the US should inform Moscow that if a Russian jet approaches another US aircraft in international waters, the Russian jet will be shot down.
Calling President Biden “the Rodney Dangerfield of world leaders,” Graham said if Biden does not up his game, “we’re gonna have World War III.”