Unusual footage: Russian drone films American drone over Syria

Interesting footage released by the Russian MoD.

According to the Russian MoD, during the last few days the US-led coalition in Syria has deployed three times more drones than before with up to 50 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles often up in the air at the same time.

The Russians claim that the coalition UAVs are conducting reconnaissance missions over oil fields along the Syrian-Turkish border which the terrorists allegedly use to smuggle oil into Turkey.

“You realize that with the scale of video monitoring being done, our colleagues could share information about what is going on along the Syrian-Turkish border and how much oil the terrorists are selling and where,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said during a press conference in Moscow.

Whilst the U.S. said they “cannot see oil trucks crossing the border,” rejecting Russia’s evidence of Turkey’s involvement in oil deals with Daesh provided in the aftermath of the controversial shoot-down of a Su-24 Fencer by a Turkish F-16, the Russians claim that all the American drones from Incirlik airbase should have seen the tanker trucks moving across the Turkish border.

Anyway, as some many UAVs share the same skies close encounters between drones and videos like the one below should become more frequent.

About David Cenciotti 4453 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.


  1. USA: My drone is filming the ground
    Russia: My drone is filming YOUR drone filming the ground!
    USA: My satellites are filming your drone filming my drone which is filming the ground
    Russia: My satellites are filming your satellites filming my drone filming your drone filming the ground….

    Ok ladies. I think its time to put the hand bags away and behave nicely!

  2. Hey David- Just thought of something.

    You know how not all RuAF flights in the past two and a half months have been under fighter escort? Because there are only 4 Su-30SM’s there, (and I think 4 Su-27’s that escorted the strategic bombers a week ago stayed at Latakia).


    Why in the heck didn’t al-Assad, who’s receiving help he needs so much, bother to escort Putin’s crafts with his Fulcrums? They definitely have enough operational, and lately, they’ve been doing nothing much except rocket and gun runs on rebel positions, no CAP or bomber/attack escort [because IS doesn’t have an aerial warfare branch]. Those MiG pilots must be sick of sitting on the sidelines.’

    What’s your take?

  3. I wonder if in the future we’re going to read something about an F-22 sneaking up on an unsuspecting Sukhoi and telling it to leave the UAV alone and go home…


    Then the Kremlin will turn around and say Raptors have been harassing their aircraft that had no contact with any US or NATO aircraft manned or unmanned in the airspace.

  4. This video is Russia’s proof that USA/NATO UAVs are 1] in the area where the oil trucks can be seen entering Turkey and 2] can observe the oil trucks on the highways as easily as Russia’s UAVs can. Therefore, when USA/NATO says they “cannot see oil trucks crossing the border” they are not talking about a technical difficulty but a political one. USA, NATO, Turkey, and Saudi Arabian proxy forces in Syria are selling oil to help fund their operations against the Assad regime, as are the Daesh forces. From the air no one can determine whose oil is in the trucks so the West doesn’t target them. But any oil truck in NE Syria is a legitimate target to the Russians, and in my view the UN would agree with them.

    • It is a valid point about being a political issue. The UAV’s have short range and they don’t have Air to Air refuelling capabilities to extend their range (That I know of). So to get around that they use a base or two in Turkey. That’s the problem, if the US and NATO accept Russia Intelligence on the matter of Oil Trucks, there would be a hell storm with the Turkish Authorities and they’d less than likely be that happy with them.

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