U.S. F-16s came within 20 miles from Russian Su-34s in Syria

CBS News was given access to CENTCOM radar image showing U.S. and Russian planes not too far one another: yellow aircraft are Russian,  green ones are American.

Some “close encounters” between U.S. and Russian aircraft operating over Syria have already occurred in the last few days according to Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of the American air campaign in Iraq and Syria, in an interview given to CBS News

U.S. F-16s out of Incirlik, Turkey, first picked up the Russian planes (Su-34s in the animation shown in the video linked below) on their radars. The RuAF jets closed to within 20 miles from the F-16s, a distance where the American pilots could visually identify them by means of their targeting pods.

20 miles away

How the sort-of engagement ended is not specified but according to Lt. Gen. Brown, the Russians have come even closer than that to his unmanned drones.

Click here to watch the CBS News video.

Yesterday, Turkey reported two violations of its airspace by Russian aircraft out of Latakia Syria. Newsworthy, in one of the incident, a Mig-29 (that the RuAF has not deployed to the theater) or a Su-30SM (reports are still contradictory), locked on a Turkish F-16 for more than 5 minutes.

Image credit: CENTCOM / CBS News

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About David Cenciotti 3635 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.