US Air Force Command Apologizes for Flying Close to Russian Jets over Syria

Fars News — Oct 29, 2016

Russian jet hits militants position in Syria. Click to enlarge

Russian jet pictured in Syria. Click to enlarge

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the US Air Force Central Command apologized for US planes flying close to Russian jets over Syria.

On October 17, a US’ AWACS plane violated rules and dangerously approached a Russian Su-35 jet over Syria, the ministry’s spokesman said, Sputnik reported.

“On October 17, the crew of a US aircraft E-3 AWACS pushed down by almost one kilometer from its height in violation of safety regulations and dangerously close approached a Russian Su-35 fighter jet in violation of all air safety rules in [Syrian] airspace near Deir Ezzur,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

Shortly after the incident, the command of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria’s Lattakia contacted the US side asking for explanations.

Konashenkov said that representatives of the US Air Force Command “apologized for the incident and promised to work with pilots to further avoid such situations.”

Moscow is surprised by Pentagon’s attempts to shift the blame for the incident on the Russian Aerospace Forces, the general said.

Konashenkov said that Russian and US pilots cooperate to avoid dangerous incidents in Syrian airspace, adding that Moscow informed of the Su-35 jet’s route in advance.