US has seen ‘important spike’ in aggressive Russian navy flights in Syria this month, commander says


The US has seen a “significant spike” in aggressive Russian navy flights in Syria this month, the commander of US Central Command stated Thursday, two days after Russian jets harassed and collided with a US drone over the Black Sea.

Gen. Erik Kurilla instructed a Senate Armed Services Committee listening to that Russian ground-attack plane fly over US bases loaded with weapons “in an attempt to try and be provocative.” He described the Russian flights as “not what we expect of a professional air force.”

Asked if the aggressive flights have been new, Kurilla responded, “It’s not new, but we have seen a significant spike since about 1 March in Syria.”

“What we are seeing, though, is an increase recently in the unprofessional and unsafe behavior of the Russian air force in the region,” he stated.

The US has roughly 900 troops in Syria at two completely different bases as a part of the continued marketing campaign to defeat ISIS. The US and Russia have a deconfliction line between the 2 militaries to make sure operations don’t lead to a miscalculation or an unintentional escalation.

Kurilla stated the Russian actions have been a way of making an attempt to “renegotiate the deconfliction protocols that they violate every day.”

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated at a information convention that the US has noticed a “pattern of aggressive, risky and unsafe actions by Russian pilots in international airspace.”

Speaking alongside Austin, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley stated the US was analyzing the sample of habits “to figure out exactly what the way ahead is.”

Milley stated the aggressive operations usually are not simply pointed on the US, however on the United Kingdom and different international locations as properly.

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