U.S. Officials: Russian and U.S. Military Aircraft Have Near Weekly Close Calls

    Updated: March 19, 2017 at 10:34 pm EST  See Comments

    MIDDLE EAST— A U.S. military aircraft had a close call with a Russian military fighter jet earlier this month over Syria as tensions between America and Moscow continue to escalate.

    According to the general in charge of the air war over Iraq and Syria, Russian military aircraft intercept U.S. military planes nearly every week.

    Lieutenant General Jeff Harrigian, the commander of U.S. Air Force Central Command, described the October 17 incident as “middle of the night, probably somewhere around midnight.”

    He said that Russian fighter jets will often escort larger surveillance planes by orbiting around them.

    In this case, the U.S. had an aircraft “that was generally in that same area,” as the Russian fighter and they had “a near miss,” Harrigian said, attributing the incident to the Russian pilot simply not seeing the U.S. aircraft in the dark.

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