Russian Aircraft Damage U.S. MQ-9 Over Syria

United States Air Force Central Command has announced that a Russian fighter jet damaged an MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle over Syria on July 23rd,2023.

On 23 July, 2023 at 12:23 a.m. (EST) Russian fighter aircraft flew dangerously close to a U.S. MQ-9 drone on a defeat-ISIS mission, harassing the MQ-9 and deploying flares from a position directly overhead, with only a few meters of separation between aircraft,” Air Forces Central Commander Lt. Gen. Alex Grynkewich said.

One of the flares hit the drone, “severely damaging its propeller,” according to Grynkewich.

“The Russian fighter’s blatant disregard for flight safety detracts from our mission to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS. We call upon the Russian forces in Syria to put an immediate end to this reckless, unprovoked, and unprofessional behavior,” he said.

This is the second time this year that Russian jets have damaged or destroyed a U.S. MQ-9 after the Black Sea incident. Several weeks ago, U.S. drones actively engaging ISIS in Syria were targeted by Russian jets that were deploying flares and dumping fuel on the drones.