It’s a “rash act” on the part of the Russians, denounced a spokesman for the White House, John Kirby. He also revealed that there had already been interceptions of American drones by Russian planes in the past, without giving details, but that the incident on Tuesday was “unique”since it had resulted in the destruction of the American apparatus.
The collision appears to have taken place in airspace off the Ukrainian city of Odessa, according to the US Naval Institute. According to the FlightRadar24 website, a P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft was circling off the Romanian coast after taking off from the Italian base at Sigonella.
According the story of the incident made by the American authorities, it was at least two Russian planes which chased the Reaper, on which they projected kerosene, before one of the two Su-27s voluntarily struck it at the level of its propeller. “This is a dangerous and unprofessional act on the part of the Russians”, said General James Hecker, commander of American air forces in Europe, calling on the Russians to “behave in a professional manner”.
The Russian army has admitted that two of its fighters had intercepted an American drone, but assured that they had neither hit it nor caused it to fall. “Following a brutal maneuver (…) the MQ-9 drone began an uncontrolled flight with a loss of altitude and struck the surface of the water”said the Russian Ministry of Defense, specifying that the two hunters had not fired, and had not had any “contact” with the drone.