US Jets vs Russian Jets – Could This Lead to War?

 In Foreign, Military

US Jets have been warning off Russian/Syrian jets in the ongoing conflict in Syria. But it seems the encounters are escalating- could these situations lead to war?

June 2016

In June, Russian bombers attacked the New Syrian Army – a US backed -group at At-Tanf. The Russians hadn’t been active in that area previously, so no one was expecting the strike, according to the LA Times.

The Daily Beast reported,

As the F/A-18s approached the Su-34s, officials with U.S. Central Command—which oversees America’s wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan—used a special hotline to contact their Russian counterparts directing Russia’s own intervention in Syria.

Arriving over At Tanf, the American pilots apparently spoke directly to the Russian aviators. “Pilots CAN communicate with one another on a communications channel set up to avoid air accidents,” Central Command confirmed in a statement to The Daily Beast.”

Russians say that they were willing to coordinate with the United States, but the US refused. They didn’t want to be on the same side as Assad.

The Russians say the US didn’t properly notify them of the position of those forces. They said that the position targeted was 186 miles from the area where the US notified Russians to stay away.

Russia bombs a US base in Syria

Military.com reported on July 22

“Russian warplanes reportedly bombed a secret military base in Syria used by elite American and British forces last month…

…The U.S. and Russia agreed to a pact last week to target airstrikes against the al-Qaida affiliate in the region — Nusra Front — despite objections from the Pentagon and CIA. Russia agreed to stop airstrikes on U.S.-backed rebels and restrain the Syrian air campaign. The two sides are still talking about designations where Russia would need U.S. approval to conduct an airstrike.”

It doesn’t appear that skies over Syria are going to get less crowded any time soon. And why would the CIA and Pentagon not want the Al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front to be targeted? Shhh shhh…never mind.

The US said it never told Russia to stay away from that base because they hadn’t struck in that area before. Yep that’s what they said alright.

us jets

F-22 Raptors photo via wikimedia commons

su34

Russian SU-34 bomber via Airforceworld

August – it appears to escalate

On August 18 warplanes ‘attached to the Assad regime’ targeted Kurdish rebels in six locations near the city of al-Hasakah. No American troops were injured in the attack.

During that same time frame, Russia began using the Shahid Nojeh base in Western Iran to launch attacks after they signed an agreement.

Then there was August 20, 2016:

Two “Syrian” SU-34 jets flew a little too close to the Northeastern part of Syria where US Special Forces are working with Kurdish forces. US jets approached them and “encouraged them to leave, even though the F-22 pilots were not able to contact their counterparts by radio (they didn’t respond to the radio transmission). There was no shooting, but these incidents appear to be on the rise.

The US has warned the Assad Regime about getting too close to US forces in its attempts to stamp out the opposition in the current ‘civil war.’

Add all this to the Russian planes that play chicken over US ships in the Baltic region.  Where are we headed? Not in a good direction.

 

 

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