How long will it be before American and Russia jets dogfight in the skies over Syria?
That possibility seems more likely after the latest in a string of confrontations between American and Russian aircraft. Earlier this month, Russian aircraft bombing U.S.-backed rebels fighting ISIS and the Syrian government almost confronted U.S. Navy fighters, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Pentagon was incensed by the attack, which occurred on Syria’s border with Jordan, and not where Russian forces have operated until now. “No U.S. forces were present in the area, but the U.S. military scrambled fighter jets and used an emergency communications channel set up to avoid air accidents to tell Russian officers to end the strikes,” U.S. officials told the Times.
“The Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers left the area at first, but came back for a second strike after the U.S. F/A-18 fighters went to refuel. The second attack killed several Syrian rebels attempting to provide medical support to the survivors of the initial one, officials said.”
CNN reported that U.S. pilots tried to radio their Russian counterparts over a previously agreed frequency, but received no answer. Russia’s Ministry of Defense later denied that the strike had ever happened.