Ignoring Russian Warnings, US Sends Another Spy Drone to the MQ-9 Crash Site in the Black Sea

Ignoring Russian Warnings, US Sends Another Spy Drone to the MQ-9 Crash Site in the Black Sea
Ignoring Russian Warnings, US Sends Another Spy Drone to the MQ-9 Crash Site in the Black Sea

Washington - The United States (US) military sent another unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), an MQ-9 Reaper drone shortly after the crash of the same type of drone in the Black Sea. The drone crash incident in the Black Sea occurred last Tuesday.

The other UAV was reportedly sent in the hope of surveying the crash site and monitoring Russian attempts to retrieve the drone debris, according to US officials.

Read Also: A Tense, Russian Su-27 Fighter Jet Hits and Drops the US MQ-9 Reaper Drone in the Black Sea, Watch The Video

Earlier, amid mutual blame for the downing of an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea near Crimea on March 14, the US Air Force released classified footage allegedly depicting the incident.

The video does not appear to support earlier US claims of the drone crashing into a Russian jet. In addition, the US is considering another drone flight over the Black Sea in the coming days, according to officials.

This corresponds to an earlier statement made by the US Department of State that drone missions in international airspace would continue.

Read Also: After MQ-9 Drone Crashes In Black Sea, Russia Hopes US Stops Flights Near Border

"At the same time, the incident has prompted the US to take a closer look at its drone reconnaissance routes, and generally assess its drone operations in the Black Sea region," the US official said.

Media reports reveal the Pentagon, along with its European Command all their statements about continuing drone missions, intend to analyze and weigh the overall costs and benefits of such a surveillance mission.

As part of this assessment, efforts are likely to be made to weigh the intelligence value of certain routes. US officials appear to justify encouraging reconnaissance flights in the area which could trigger further escalation with Russia.

Read Also: After the US MQ-9 Drone Crashes, NATO Deploys Fighter Jets To Intercept Russian Aircraft, Revenge?

While American officials insisted the drone's operator had remotely deleted all sensitive information before it plunged into the sea, US media reported on Wednesday that Russia is thought to have found some debris, including pieces of fiberglass or small pieces of the UAV.

The US MQ-9 Reaper drone crashed in the Black Sea after making a sharp maneuver as Russian fighter jets scrambled to identify the plane flying towards Crimea with its transponder turned off.

In fact, the US does not recognize Russia's claims to Crimea, which it reunited with Russia in 2014. In a national referendum held on March 16 that year, over 95% of voters in Crimea and Sevastopol supported reunification with Russia after decades of separation.

The US stance means not recognizing any claims regarding the creation of a no-fly zone by Russia to support its ongoing military operations against Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry said one Su-27 fighter jet had been deployed to follow an unidentified MQ-9 Reaper drone moving towards the Russian border. The US unmanned aerial vehicle crashed in international waters in the Black Sea, off the coast of Crimea, as a result of a sharp maneuver. "The Russian aircraft sent to intercept it did not come into contact with the drone, nor did it use any weapons against it," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

However, the US European Command claimed the Russian jet had struck the drone's propellers during an "unsafe and unprofessional intercept", which resulted in the plane crashing.

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