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The Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen Pat Ryder briefed reporters on Tuesday following the downing of an American Reaper surveillance drone over the Black Sea in international airspace by two Russian aircraft.
Ryder confirmed the collision with the MQ9, which led to US forces bringing the craft down in international waters. The Russian craft involved was operated in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner, Ryder said.
US Air Force Gen. James Hecker wrote in a release prior to the press conference, noting that the drone was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was hit by the Russian aircraft.
“The Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9. Prior to the collision, the Su-27s were said to have dumped fuel on and flown in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless and unprofessional manner, Hecker confirmed. “Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” he said.
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