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‘Reckless’ Russian Fighter Jet Downs US Drone Over Black Sea: Air Force

A Russian fighter jet downed a US drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, the Air Force said.

The military accused the Russian fighter jet of colliding with a US unmanned aerial system over the Black Sea, according to a statement released by United States European Command.

“Two Russian Su-27 aircraft conducted an unsafe and unprofessional intercept with a US Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance unmanned MQ-9 aircraft that was operating within international airspace over the Black Sea today,” the statement reads.

Relations between the United States and Russia have grown strained in recent months. While the two countries have long been adversaries, the Russian invasion of Ukraine drew a swift and severe backlash from the United States, which has provided significant amounts of weapons to Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Russia.

The incident occurred at about 7:03 CET, according to the statement. The Air Force said the Su-27 dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 “in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” demonstrating “a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional.”

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” said US Air Force General James Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa. “In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash.”

Russia had not responded to the Air Force’s statement by publication.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense press office by email for comment.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information becomes available.

A Russian fighter jet downed a US drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, the Air Force said.

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