Russian, US Jets clash in Mediterranean Sea amid tensions

2022-05-16 0 By

Beijing, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) –The US Defense Department confirmed Wednesday that three US anti-submarine patrol planes were “unprofessionally” intercepted by Russian military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend, and the US expressed “concern” to Russia through diplomatic channels.Pentagon spokesman Mike Kafka told a news briefing that three US Navy P-8A anti-submarine patrol planes were flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend when a Russian military aircraft approached.”Even though no one was injured, such interactions can lead to miscalculations and mistakes that can lead to more dangerous consequences.”Tu-160 strategic bombers and Su-35S fighter jets fly over Red Square in Moscow, Russia, during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade on May 7, 2021.At one point, Russian military aircraft came “within a few feet” of one of the U.S. planes, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official.The “interaction” is not unusual between the U.S. and Russia, Reuters said, but it comes at a “particularly delicate time” and “when any accident or miscalculation would be highly scrutinised.”Tensions have been running high in Ukraine.The United States and NATO have made much of the build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine’s eastern border as an “invasion” of the country.Russia denies this, saying NATO activities threaten its borders and that it has the right to deploy troops to defend its territory.In recent years, the United States and NATO have increased the frequency of aerial reconnaissance in Russia’s vicinity and areas of strategic interests, and Russia has responded forcefully by launching military aircraft to intercept them.The US has repeatedly accused the Russian military aircraft of “dangerous and unprofessional” actions.The Russian side insisted that the relevant operations of the Russian military aircraft strictly abide by the international airspace rules.(Jiang Guopeng)