A fighter plane from the Russian aviation group approached a U.S. plane in Syrian air space on Oct. 10 to identify it and it was not an intimidation action, Russian Defense Ministry official Igor Konashenkov said.
"While heading to the area the radiation warning system, which is installed in all our planes, registered radiation from an unknown flying object. Our fighter approached it at a distance of some 2-3 kilometers, not with the purpose of intimidating anyone, but to identify the object and its affiliation. After that, the Russian Sukhoi Su-30SM returned to the combat group to fulfill its routine tasks," Konashenkov told reporters on Oct. 14.
He said the two planes met on October 10, when a group of Russian planes under the cover of a Su-30SM fighter were on a combat mission to destroy an ISIL facility in the Aleppo province.
"That was not the first such situation. Our pilots often see in the air space over Syria not only flights by U.S. planes, but also drones, including attack drones," Konashenkov said.
He said Russia does not understand why U.S. Air Force officials are surprised by this situation, which occurred on Oct. 10.
"Firstly, Russian combat planes are in Syrian air space absolutely legally at the request of the official administration of the Syrian Arab Republic. Moreover, all the flights by our planes are approved by the relevant authorities of this country," Konashenkov said.
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