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Russian fighter jet on October 10 approached US plane over Syria to identify it — ministry

October 14, 2015, 14:37 UTC+3

The ministry also noted that Russian pilots often spot US planes and drones above Syria

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© TASS/Sergei Bobylev

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. A Russian fighter jet approached a US aircraft on October 10 to identify it rather than to scare it, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday.

"On the way to the designated area our plane’s radar warning receiver (all of our planes have it) caught a signal from an unknown flying object. Our fighter made a turn and approached the object to a distance of two or three kilometers: not to scare somebody, but to identify the aircraft. After that Russia’s Sukhoi-30SM returned to the group to go ahead with the set task," Konashenkov said.

He recalled that the October 10 incident occurred when a group of Russian planes under the cover of Sukhoi-30SM was on a combat mission against a target of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) in Aleppo province.

Earlier, the US Department of Defence said the US and Russian planes on Saturday found themselves at a distance of several miles away from each other over Syria. Both pilots were acting "professionally," the Pentagon said.

Russian pilots often spot US planes, drones above Syria

"Our pilots quite often see not only US planes, but also drones, including striking drones, in the airspace above Syria," he said.

Russia’s warplanes in Syrian airspace are "on the absolutely legal grounds upon the request of the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic," the spokesman stressed.

All the flights are coordinated with the respective authorities of the country, he added.

Late on Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry sent to the Pentagon more proposals on preventing possible incidents in the sky over Syria. These proposals are scheduled to be discussed during the third such video conference in the past days of the Russian and US military officials.

The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, convened on September 30 to approve Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request for the use of the country’s armed forces in Syria against the Islamic State and Jabhat an-Nusra terrorist groupings.

On the same day, Russia’s Air and Space Force started to deliver the first pinpointed air strikes against the militants’ positions. The Russian aviation grouping comprises more than 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the Sukhoi Su-34 and Su-24M bombers, Su-25 attack aircraft, Su-30SM fighters and Mil Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters.

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