The Kremlin approved “aggressive actions” of Russian fighter jets against a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper military drone over the Black Sea.
This was reported by NBC News with reference to three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence data.
The Russian jets dropped jet fuel on the MQ-9, an “unprecedented action,” NBC News says. The drone’s propeller was allegedly clipped by accident. According to the TV channel’s guests, it could have been a pilot error.
The Russian military’s intention might have been to throw the drone off course or disable its surveillance capabilities, two sources said, citing intelligence. The Russian military has reached the area where the MQ-9 crashed and is actively searching for its wreckage using ships and aircraft, three Pentagon officials and one Joe Biden administration official said. They may have already managed to get fragments of the drone, an unnamed U.S. official told ABC News.
The U.S. has taken all necessary steps to remove the drone’s software so the Russians can’t get any classified information if they manage to pick up the wreckage, said Mark Milley, head of the U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff.russia ukraine war the kremlin ukraine front lines us drone