Mar 17, 2023 06:41 UTC
  • Rubio: US should fly more military drones over the Black Sea with fighter jet escorts

Hawkish Republican Senator Marco Rubio says the United States should begin flying more military drones with fighter jet escorts over the Black Sea region, following the crash of an American drone there.    

Rubio, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Russia downed a US Reaper drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday which is a “test” for the Biden administration.  

“It’s a test to see if we’ll respond to it,” he added.

The Pentagon claimed a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with a US military drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, causing it to crash.

Washington called the incident "reckless" and "unprofessional" while Moscow rejected US accusations and instead blamed the United States for conducting "hostile" flights in the region.

Russia denied that its forces had made any effort to down the drone, and instead suggested that the US aircraft had possibly crashed due to "sharp maneuvering."

According to Moscow, the incident happened as the UAV was flying "over the waters of the Black Sea in the area of the Crimean peninsula...towards the Russian state border."

Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014 and formally became a part of Russia later on.

The US military released footage of what it described as an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” intercept by the Russian warplane.

The short video footage purportedly shows a Russian Su-27 approaching the back of the US MQ-9 drone on Tuesday and dumping fuel as it passes.

The European Command said the warplane made a second pass at the unpiloted drone, again dumping fuel, before colliding with the drone.