Two US F-22 Raptor fighters. REUTERS/Toby Melville
USA Today: Exclusive: U.S. pilots provide first account of tense Syrian jet encounter
A MILITARY BASE IN SOUTHWEST ASIA — Two American fighter pilots who intercepted Syrian combat jets over northern Syria last week said they came within 2,000 feet of the planes without the Syrians aware they were being shadowed.
The tense encounter occurred after Syrian jets dropped bombs near a U.S. adviser team with Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The Pentagon warned Syria that American forces were authorized to take action to defend its troops. Syrian aircraft haven’t dropped bombs in the area since then, and the U.S. military is no longer operating continuous combat patrols there.
“I followed him around for all three of his loops,” one of the American pilots, a 38-year-old Air Force major, told USA TODAY Wednesday in the first detailed account of the incident. “He didn’t appear to have any idea I was there.”
The two pilots asked that their names be withheld for security reasons.
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WNU Editor: I am surprised that the Syrians did not see them .... or at least that is the impression that the U.S. is giving from this encounter.