Lieutenant General Michael E. Kurilla testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee February 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 2:28 PM PT – Thursday, March 16, 2023
General Michael Kurilla has explained that the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) has seen more “unprofessional and unsafe” behavior from Russian aircrafts in Syria since the beginning of March.
“What we are seeing, is an increase recently in the unprofessional and unsafe behavior of the Russian Air Force in the region,” Kurilla stated.
Kurilla talked about the ongoing harassment of the U.S. forces in the region during a meeting of the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
He went on to explain that Russian aircrafts have become emboldened lately to act more aggressive towards U.S. bases. He said that the actions of the Russian Air Force are not typical of an organized military force.
“They fly over our bases with ground attack aircraft with weapons on them in an attempt to try and be provocative. But really, it’s unsafe, unprofessional, not what we expect of a professional air force. They want to try and renegotiate the deconfliction protocols that they violate every day.” he explained.
Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) asked the general to clarify if this was normal Russian behavior.
“This is not new Russia behavior, is it, sir, especially in regard to the drone incident that we have recently seen?” she asked.
“It’s not new, but we have seen a significant spike since about 1 March in Syria,” Kurilla responded.
Russia military behavior has become a major concern for U.S. officials since the beginning of their invasion of Ukraine.
Tensions escalated recently when Russian aircrafts harassed and caused a U.S. drone to crash in the Black Sea.
On Thursday, U.S. officials also reported that Russian Ships are at the MQ-9 drone crash site in the Black Sea to try and recover the debris.