Oct 10, 2015

Over Syria, U.S. diverts F-16s to avoid Russian jet

Two U.S. aircraft had to be diverted over Syria in order to keep a safe distance from a Russian fighter plane, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday, the first time such an incident has taken place since Russia began military operations in the country last month.
The episode took place sometime over the last few days, and the military is "taking action to ensure" planes keep a safe distance. A senior defense official told CNN the U.S. planes were F-16s that took off from Turkey's Incirlik air base and were headed to an area near Raqqa. U.S. pilots have been ordered to change their flight path if a Russian plane is within 20 nautical miles, the official said, since there is no agreement with the Russians on mutual flight safety rules and practices. The F-16 pilots were unable to complete their mission.

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