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    Russian Military Planes Attempted to Engage in ‘Dogfight’ with US Jets Above Syria, 85 Breaches in Two Months

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    Russian pilots have attempted to engage in dogfighting with US jets over Syria, according to a CNN report. While the Russians did not appear to have tried to shoot down American planes, they may be trying to provoke the US and draw it into an international incident, said an unnamed US official. Russian warplanes have been displaying aggressive behaviour since 1 March. Videos from April show a Russian SU-35 fighter jet intercepting a US F-16 fighter jet in an “unsafe and unprofessional” way, and a Russian jet violating coalition airspace and flying within 2,000 feet of a US aircraft.

    American pilots have been warned not to engage with Russians. The US and Russia have used a deconfliction line between their militaries in Syria for several years to avoid escalation. However, officials have claimed that Russian jets have violated deconfliction protocols on 85 occasions since March. The incidents have increased the risk of miscalculation, said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, the commander of US Air Force Central Command.

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