Readers of the Conservative Daily Post have long known that Russia has taunted the U.S., entered our waters, and even buzzed American warships. While the testing of the other side is not uncommon, Russia is often reckless and quite careless when they do it. This could easily spark a conflict that could spiral out of control before either Putin or President Trump were even sure what happened.
The Air Force Times shows that they are at it again as a pair of U.S. F-22 Raptors “intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested [sic]air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Wednesday.” This happened when Russian planes “crossed an agreed upon deconfliction line that runs parallel with the Euphrates River.”
The United States and Syria work with what is called the Syrian Democratic Forces on the east side of the famous river. According to the agreement, “Russia and its Syrian regime allies are supposed to steer clear” of this area. Instead, Putin’s forces appeared to want to taunt America, an action that sparked a rapid reply from the U.S. Air Force.
First on CNN: Two US defense officials tell me that 2 US F-22 jets intercepted 2 Russian Su-25 jets over Syria, Wednesday, firing warning flares after the Su-25s crossed the agreed upon de-conflciiton line, flying east of the Euphrates River multiple times. A Su-35 also present
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) December 14, 2017
“On December 13, two Russian Su-25s flew into coordinated Coalition airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River near Abu Kamal, Syria, and were promptly intercepted by two F-22A Raptors providing air cover for partner ground forces conducting operations to defeat ISIS,” admitted Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for U.S. Air Forces Central Command.
The whole reason that both the U.S. and Russia are even in the region is to combat ISIS and similar terror groups. It is not supposed to be about strutting and tempting American forces to engage Russia. This is something that Putin and his military seem to often lose track of.
America’s fighter jets “conducted maneuvers and fired warning flares and chaff” in order to get Russian planes to leave the uncontested airspace that they were purposefully violating.
Acting more like World War Two kamikaze pilots than actual modern day airmen with skill and poise, it has been confirmed that at “one point, one Su-25 flew close enough to an F-22A that it had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision.” Pickart also said, “During the incident, a Russian Su-35 also flew across the river and was shadowed closely by one of the F-22As.”
The uncertainty in the skies lasted for over forty minutes before Russian jets finally returned to where they were supposed to be to begin with. It is quite alarming to see that the Russians do not honor their word when it comes to where in Syria both forces are to be. This is a common thread with Putin and it could lead war if the right set of grim circumstances were to lead to action from one side or the other.
“Since agreeing to this deconfliction arrangement, the Russians have flown into our airspace on the east side of the river six to eight times per day, or approximately 10 percent of the Russian and Syrian flights,” says the spokesman.
A special hotline has been set up that allows for communication during such moments, and it was used. Still, the situation remained very tense. It is known that there is a lot of oil in this area and some suggest that Russia has designs on much of it.
Explaining how easily war could arise from these actions, Pickart said, “The Coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces. We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians — our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens Coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them.”
Putin would do well to listen to those words.