March 30, 2023

US Reaper Drone Downed Over Black Sea In “Incident” With Russian Jet

Russian Su-27 fighter collided with a US MQ-9 drone over Black Sea, causing drone to crash, according to US European Command.

A major incident involving a US military drone is being widely reported as happening over the Black Sea on Tuesday, with NATO sources telling AFP there’s been an “incident” and that an investigation is ongoing. Western military sources identified that a US-made Reaper drone may have crashed for as yet unknown reasons:

“Something happened but we don’t have confirmation that the drone has been shot down. An investigation is underway,” one of two Western sources who confirmed “an incident” told AFP.

“The sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information, did not say which country was operating the drone, which is used extensively by the United States as well as many of its NATO allies,” the AFP report continues.

As more details trickled out in the minutes following initial reports, a war correspondent for Politico is citing US European Command officials who say the US drone has been downed over the Black Sea.

A Russian Su-27 fighter collided with a US MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea this morning, causing the drone to crash, US European Command says,” Politico Paul McLeary writes.

Naturally, the next question is what happened to the Russian jet… did it too crash? If so, the incident poses great danger for possible imminent US-Russia escalation, given this is the kind of rare direct military encounter and incident that many have long feared could unleash a deadly spiral of escalation.

The White House was briefed over the incident, according to NSC spokesman John Kirby:


However, some pundits and reporters are already positing a narrative of events which contradicts the Pentagon’s. Is Pentagon leadership hoping to avoid WW3 by downplaying it as a mere accident (in the scenario this was actually a shootdown incident)? The Kremlin version of events will be interesting to hear as the aftermath unfolds.

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