Pentagon Warns Russians Their Planes Could Be Shot Down if They Enter US-Claimed Syrian Airspace

Tensions between the US and Russia in Syria have been raised with a recent warning from a US Military spokesperson that if Russia crosses “coalition airspace” in Syria (not sure how the “coalition” came to own that airspace, but that’s a small detail we don’t need to pay close attention to, right?) that the aircraft could be shot down.  Here’s the nuanced presentation of what this article in The Libertarian Institute rightly flushes out to its real, non-gov-speak reality.

Pentagon Openly Threatens to Shoot Down Russian Jets Over Eastern Syria

…..the Pentagon has graduated to openly raising the prospect of shooting down a Russian warplane directly through its spokespeople. Colonel Damien Pickart, the spokesman for US Air Forces Central Command, said yesterday the US military has “the greatest concern” it could “shoot down a Russian warplane because its actions are seen as a threat” — in other words if they cross into “coalition airspace” in eastern Syria. Yes, bizarrely the Pentagon refers to Syria to the east of the Euphrates as “our airspace”:

“We saw anywhere from six to eight incidents daily in late November, where Russian or Syrian aircraft crossed into our airspace on the east side of the Euphrates River,” Pickart said.

The US claims it can not honestly know if Russian aircraft are crossing the river by “mistake” or because they mean to attack “coalition forces”, and that therefore US fighters could already have legitimately shot them down in “self-defense”:

The Air Force pilots showed restraint, but given that the actions of the Su-24 could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to the American aircraft, the F-22 pilots would have been with their rights to fire in self-defense, officials at the Qatar air base said.

Read More at The Libertarian Institute

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