The United States has reported a significant increase in aggressive Russian military flights in Syria, according to a statement released by a top US military commander on Thursday.
General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the US Central Command, said that there had been a “spike” in Russian military activity in Syria this month, including a number of close encounters with US aircraft.
In the statement, General McKenzie said that the Russian military had been “more aggressive” in their flights, and had been conducting “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuvers near US aircraft. He added that these actions were “unnecessary” and could lead to “miscalculations or accidents.”
The commander of US Central Command says the US has seen a “significant spike” in aggressive Russian military flights in Syria this month https://t.co/CZwoQD94Vv
— CNN (@CNN) March 17, 2023
The increased activity involving Russian military flights comes amid heightened tensions between the US and Russia over Syria, where the two countries have been supporting opposing sides in the ongoing civil war. The US has been backing rebel forces seeking to overthrow the Syrian government, while Russia has been supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
General McKenzie’s statement did not provide details on the exact number or type of incidents that had occurred this month. However, he emphasized that the US military would continue to take measures to protect its personnel and assets in the region.
The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet responded to the US claims. However, in the past, Russia has denied engaging in unsafe or provocative behavior in Syria or elsewhere.
The increased Russian military activity in Syria comes at a time of heightened tensions between the US and Russia over a number of issues, including Russian interference in US elections, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
The situation in Syria remains complex and volatile, with ongoing violence and a humanitarian crisis that has displaced millions of people. The increased Russian military activity only adds to the already tense situation in the country and underscores the need for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.