"NATO may ramp up Black Sea presence after U.S. Drone downed" - M5 Dergi
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“NATO may ramp up Black Sea presence after U.S. Drone downed”

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) may increase its presence in the Black Sea after a U.S. drone was downed by a Russian aircraft afternoon, according to former U.S. Army General Mark Hertling.

“This was probably a big mistake by a Russian pilot. There’s going to be a denouncement of this and a démarche issued by the United States. You’re not going to see any drones flying alone. You may see U.S. aircraft, NATO aircraft intensifying their presence in the Black Sea area within hours,” Hertling said while appearing on CNN.

Hertling’s comments come shortly after the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) confirmed that a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 drone was downed by a Russian Su-27 aircraft.

“At approximately 7:03 AM (CET), one of the Russian Su-27 aircraft struck the propeller of the MQ-9, causing U.S. forces to have to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters. Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner. This incident demonstrates a lack of competence in addition to being unsafe and unprofessional,” USEUCOM said in a statement.

U.S. Air Force General James B. Hecker, commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said that the U.S. Air Force drone was conducting “routine operations in international airspace,” and it resulted in the “complete loss” of the drone.

“In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash,” Hecker said.

Since the start of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, relations between Moscow and the U.S. have continued to decline. The U.S. has criticized Russia and President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine, while the Russian leader previously said that “The situation in Ukraine shows that the U.S. is trying to prolong this conflict.”


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