US aircraft experiences 'violent turbulence' after Russian fighter jet turns on afterburners

Russian jet fighters fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow. Photo: Getty Images.
  • A Russian fighter jet reportedly made unsafe maneuvers near a US aircraft flying over the Black Sea.
  • The fighter jet flew in front of the US aircraft and turned on its afterburners.
  • The incident comes amid divisive rhetoric from Russia, in which it likened US service members operating in Syria to “occupying forces.”

A Russian fighter jet reportedly made unsafe maneuvers near a US aircraft flying over the Black Sea, CNN reported Monday.

The Russian Su-30 jet reportedly crossed in front of the US P-8A Poseidon aircraft Saturday, flying as close as 50 feet, and turned on its afterburners, Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said to CNN.

The manoeuvre left “violent turbulence” in its wake, forcing the P-8A to deal with a 15-degree roll, according to Baldanza. The incident reportedly lasted 24 minutes.

“The US aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behaviour,” Baldanza said in the report. “Unsafe actions‎ have the potential to cause serious harm and injury to all air crews involved.”

In June, an armed Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted a US RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea, coming as close as five feet. The two aircraft were operating in international airspace; however, a US Air Force spokesperson said at the time that “there are international standards to ensure safety and prevent incidents.”

The latest incident comes amid Russia’s accusations, made earlier this month, in which they called the US-led coalition force combating Islamic State militants in Syria “occupying forces.” Russia, a key ally to Syria’s embattled leader, President Bashar al-Assad, has been at odds with US forces and their allies during the Syrian civil war.

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