The US Navy has accused a Russian fighter jet of firing on an American drone over the Black Sea.
According to a US Navy statement, the incident occurred on June 6 when a US MQ-9 Reaper drone was conducting a routine operation in international airspace when it was targeted by a Russian SU-35 fighter jet. The statement says the Russian fighter jet “executed aggressive maneuvers” and engaged the drone “with a high-power laser.”
The US military says the Russian fighter jet was operating in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner and put the safety of the American drone and its crew at risk.
The US Navy has lodged a formal complaint with the Russian government and is demanding an explanation for the incident.
The incident is just one of many tense encounters between US and Russian forces in the region in recent years. In April 2018, a Russian fighter jet flew within five feet of an American reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea. In April 2017, two Russian SU-24 fighter jets flew within five feet of a US destroyer in the Baltic Sea.
The US and Russia have also clashed over the Syrian conflict, with the two nations supporting opposing sides in the civil war.
The US has accused Russia of carrying out airstrikes against US-backed Syrian rebels, while Russia has accused the US of violating international law by carrying out airstrikes against Syrian government forces.