Top US Air Force commanders have asked their military pilots to be careful about not reacting to Russian military planes flying in Syria. There is increasing provocation as American planes and Russian aircraft’s are flying near each other in the country.
The pilots have been asked to precede with standard aviation safety procedures. United States expects to complete a technical agreement with Russia by Tuesday on how both their air forces will fly safely and maintain contact when they come close. US and Russian defense chiefs are currently holding a series of discussions.
It was learned that there has at least been two occasions when Russian crafts have flown very close to American jets. In one instance, a Russian jet flew within 500 feet of a US fighter, and on the second incident last Thursday, a Russian aircraft came within just 1,500 feet of two US aircraft’s. Luckily however, there was no hostile action from either side. US Air Force commanders want to maintain this to stay safe and not escalate the tension in this region.
Earlier, Turkey had protested Russian jets on its territory and had chased them away. Russia had to apologize for this, and stated that it was a mistake that won’t happen again.
United States and its allies have already voiced their protest and disagreement over Russian action in Syria. Russia says it wants to fight ISIS, but the US believes that Russia’s action will only escalate the war. However the US says that it will continue its own operations against ISIS targets in Syria.
Russian aircraft’s have been bombing targets in Syria since the end of last month. The US and other Western countries have claimed the Russians have also struck US-backed rebels who are opposing the Syrian leader President Basher al-Assad.
Russia has built-up around 30 aircraft at a base on the Syrian coast, along with hundreds of military personnel. There are also about 2,000 Iranian troops operating in Syria to back up Russian airstrikes.