The US drone shot down over the black sea ignites a severe crisis between the US and Russia
Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder announced the loss of a US MQ-9 drone after a Russian fighter collided with it over the Black Sea, and Washington summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the incident.
Ryder indicated, in a press conference, that the drone was carrying out a reconnaissance mission over international waters when it was intercepted by two Russian Sukhoi fighters (Su-27) in an unprofessional and dangerous manner.
He added that one of the two Russian fighters collided with the drone, forcing the US forces to shoot it down, and Ryder also indicated that the accident damaged the Russian fighter.
The Pentagon spokesman pointed out that this type of drone is equipped to carry weapons, but he didn’t confirm whether the downed American drone carried ammunition, and only confirmed that it was a reconnaissance aircraft.
While the Pentagon declined to disclose the mission the drone was carrying out while flying over the Black Sea, John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the US National Security Council, said steps had been taken to ensure that the wreckage of the drone did not fall into the wrong hands.
He added that Russian fighters intercepting foreign planes over the Black Sea isn’t uncommon act.
Kirby also made it clear that the American drone was in the international arena over international waters and didn’t pose any threat.
The Coordinator of Strategic Communications in the US National Security Council confirmed that the United States will continue to work in the Black Sea in accordance with what is stipulated in international laws, and that if Russia wants to send a message to Washington not to fly over the Black Sea, then this message failed, as he put it.
In Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that it had detected an American drone near the Crimean peninsula, heading towards the Russian border, as it closed its identification system.
The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that its combat aircraft did not use their ammunition and did not communicate with the American drone, adding that the American drone fell due to the sharp maneuver and collided with the surface of the water.
Washington announced the summoning of the Russian ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, and CNN quoted him as saying, “Russia doesn’t want confrontation with the United States and prefers not to create a situation in which clashes or unintended accidents could occur between the two countries”.
The Russian ambassador wondered what the US position would be if Russian drones approached New York or San Francisco, especially since Russia reported the area where the collision occurred as a special military operations area and warned against entering it.
Antonov indicated that he exchanged views with US Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried, who conveyed her country’s concerns.