Friday, September 22, 2023

US sends fighter jets to Middle East, citing Russia ‘increasingly unsafe’ activity

The United States has sent F-22 jets to the Middle East in response to the “increasingly unsafe” activity by Russian aircraft in the region.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a release Wednesday that it deployed the F-22 Raptors to demonstrate the country’s ability to “re-posture forces and deliver overwhelming power at a moment’s notice.”

“US Air Force F-22 Raptors deployed to US Central Command’s area of responsibility as part of a multifaceted show of US support and capability in the wake of increasingly unsafe and unprofessional behavior by Russian aircraft in the region,” the release states.

“Russian Forces’ unsafe and unprofessional behavior is not what we expect from a professional air force. Their regular violation of agreed upon airspace deconfliction measures increases the risk of escalation or miscalculation,” Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM, stated in the release.

“Alongside our partners and allies, we are committed to improving the security and stability in the region,” he added.

The move comes as tensions between the US and Russia have spiked in the past year amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

US officials have reportedly said Russia has become more aggressive in the Middle East recently, with Kurilla telling the Senate Armed Services Committee in March that the US has observed a “significant spike” in aggressive Russian flights over Syria.

Russian pilots have also tried to “dogfight” US jets over Syria, possibly attempting to provoke the US into starting an incident.

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