(PresidentialHill.com)- Why would Russia attack a U.S. drone in international waters?
According to national security blog 19fortyfive, U.S. European Command reports that a Russian fighter aircraft intentionally harassed and crashed with a U.S. drone flying over the Black Sea this week. Due to the incident off the Crimean peninsula, the US was compelled to bring down the MQ-9 Reaper into the sea.
According to Air Force.mil, The MQ-9 Reaper is used against moving targets and as a source of information. With its capabilities, the MQ-9 is well suited to carry out unconventional warfare activities supporting combatant goals.
USAF Gen. James B. Hecker, who commands U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa, confirmed that the MQ-9 drone was conducting routine activities in international airspace when it was attacked by a Russian aircraft, according to 19fortyfive.
Above the Black Sea, a pair of Russian Su-27 fighter fighters followed the US espionage UAV in international airspace.
According to U.S. European Command, the two Russian jets recklessly passed before the surveillance drone and leaked fuel on it. According to U.S. military officials, there were reports that the jet ran into the drone’s propeller and made an emergency landing in Crimea.
The White House called the incident an intimidation effort.
But it’s possible that it was a drone data grab.
According to the report, U.S. military officials claimed to have deleted the drone’s software, so even if the Russians get there before the U.S. or NATO, they won’t recover any data.
The US could only salvage the wreckage by dispatching a vessel to the Black Sea, in which Russian military vessels are still stationed, and Turkey has barricaded the Bosphorus Strait.
John Kirby, White House National Security spokesman, said Russia could not ban the US from flying in international airspace, and the Black Sea is international territory.