On 14 May, a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 crashed a USAF drone MQ-9 “Reaper” following a series of hostile manoeuvres.
Yesterday in Syria, something very similar happened around 10:30am. The USAF issued a statement and a video denouncing the incident:
“Russian SU-35 fighter aircraft close in on U.S. MQ-9 aircraft on July 5, 2023 over on July 5, 2023 over Syria. The Russian SU-35 fighter aircraft employed parachute flares in the flight path of U.S. MQ-9 aircraft. Against established norms and protocols, this forced U.S. aircraft to conduct evasive maneuvers.
Additionally, one Russian pilot positioned their aircraft in front of an MQ-9 and engaged afterburner, dynamically increasing speed and air pressure, which reduced the MQ-9 operator’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.
These events represent a new level of unprofessional and unsafe action by Russian air forces operating in Syria.”