Russian jets that are armed have flown over a U.S. military site throughout March at an alarming rate that could lead to escalation between the two countries
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Russian jets that are armed have flown over a U.S. military site throughout March at an alarming rate that could lead to escalation between the two countries. 

According to a new report from NBC News, Russian Su-34 jets that may have air-to-air weapons and radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles and bombs have been over the At Tanf Garrison nearly every day in March. 

In the first three weeks of the month, Russian jets have entered the U.S. air space over the garrison 25 times, compared to zero times in February and 14 in January.

‘It is a substantial increase,’ said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich. He said Russia is currently ‘on track to be double what it has been in the past.’

Lt. Gen. Grynewich – who is in charge of air operations for the region – said the actions violate a four-year-old agreement between the two countries and could lead to future issues. 

Russian jets that are armed have flown over a U.S. military site throughout March at an alarming rate that could lead to escalation between the two countries

Russian jets that are armed have flown over a U.S. military site throughout March at an alarming rate that could lead to escalation between the two countries

Russian jets that are armed have flown over a U.S. military site throughout March at an alarming rate that could lead to escalation between the two countries

Russian Su-34 jets that may have air-to-air weapons and radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles and bombs have been over the At Tanf Garrison nearly every day in March

Russian Su-34 jets that may have air-to-air weapons and radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles and bombs have been over the At Tanf Garrison nearly every day in March

Russian Su-34 jets that may have air-to-air weapons and radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles and bombs have been over the At Tanf Garrison nearly every day in March

This is the At Tanf Garrison (also referred to as the Al Tanf Garrison) in Syria

This is the At Tanf Garrison (also referred to as the Al Tanf Garrison) in Syria

This is the At Tanf Garrison (also referred to as the Al Tanf Garrison) in Syria 

According to Grynkewich – whose official title is combined forces air component commander for U.S. Central Command – the most recent flight over the base happened Wednesday. 

 He says the uptick in the overflights have begun to raise red flags among some.

‘They’re regularly flying directly overhead of our units, and I’ve defined directly overhead, as within about a mile, no more than a mile offset one side or the other, while we’ve got forces right there on the ground at ATG,’ he told the outlet. 

‘So it’s an uncomfortable situation,’ Grynkewich continued. 

This ‘uncomfortable situation’ comes just days after two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew aggressively around a U.S. drone.

During that incident which happened over the Black Sea, the jets dumped fuel on the drone and eventually collided with it, causing the drone to go down. 

Grynkewich said the U.S. has used their direct deconfliction phone line to object to the hostility, but that the calls have done little to stop the behavior. 

Rather than acknowledge the issue, the military official said the Russians have told him they don’t recognize the airspace as the United States’. 

'It is a substantial increase,' said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich. He said Russia is currently 'on track to be double what it has been in the past'

'It is a substantial increase,' said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich. He said Russia is currently 'on track to be double what it has been in the past'

‘It is a substantial increase,’ said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich. He said Russia is currently ‘on track to be double what it has been in the past’

Grynkewich said the U.S. has used their direct deconfliction phone line to object to the hostility, but that the calls have done little to stop the behavior

Grynkewich said the U.S. has used their direct deconfliction phone line to object to the hostility, but that the calls have done little to stop the behavior

Grynkewich said the U.S. has used their direct deconfliction phone line to object to the hostility, but that the calls have done little to stop the behavior

Rather than acknowledge the issue, the military official said the Russians have told him they don't recognize the airspace as the United States'

Rather than acknowledge the issue, the military official said the Russians have told him they don't recognize the airspace as the United States'

Rather than acknowledge the issue, the military official said the Russians have told him they don’t recognize the airspace as the United States’

This 'uncomfortable situation' comes just days after two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew aggressively around a U.S. drone

This 'uncomfortable situation' comes just days after two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew aggressively around a U.S. drone

This ‘uncomfortable situation’ comes just days after two Russian Su-27 fighter jets flew aggressively around a U.S. drone

US officials said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was intercepted by two Russian Su-27 jets that dumped fuel on top of the drone before clipping its propeller, forcing it to crash

US officials said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was intercepted by two Russian Su-27 jets that dumped fuel on top of the drone before clipping its propeller, forcing it to crash

US officials said the MQ-9 Reaper drone was intercepted by two Russian Su-27 jets that dumped fuel on top of the drone before clipping its propeller, forcing it to crash

An MQ-9 Reaper drone is seen in a file photo. The downing of the US surveillance drone was the first direct military incident between US and Russia since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine

An MQ-9 Reaper drone is seen in a file photo. The downing of the US surveillance drone was the first direct military incident between US and Russia since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine

An MQ-9 Reaper drone is seen in a file photo. The downing of the US surveillance drone was the first direct military incident between US and Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine

The overflights directly violate the 2019 agreement between the two countries when it comes to the air in Syria. 

At the time, both countries agreed to the deal in an effort to avoid encounters.   

Russian and U.S. military officials both stated any overflight of each other’s ground bases or sites would not be considered acceptable. 

That no longer appears to be the case, Grynkewich says.  

‘The Russians have over the last several months seemed to abandon that tenet of the protocols,’ Grynkewich said. 

Russia, however is still telling the U.S. to stay out of their air space. 

The U.S. is still adhering to the aforementioned agreement, according to Grynkewich.

He maintains that both countries should be focused directly on opposing ISIS forces in Syria and noted that Russia acting up now ‘seems like a very strange time to do this.’

As of March 23, no U.S. ground military operations have been affected by the Russian jets but Grynkewich claims that may not stay that way.  

‘What it is really is a distraction from the fight against ISIS,’ he said. ‘It hasn’t affected the fight on the ground yet, but it certainly has the potential to.’

‘I’m not concerned about overt hostilities, I’m concerned about a miscalculation or unprofessional or immature action by somebody,’ he continued. 

'The Russians have over the last several months seemed to abandon that tenet of the protocols,' Grynkewich said

'The Russians have over the last several months seemed to abandon that tenet of the protocols,' Grynkewich said

‘The Russians have over the last several months seemed to abandon that tenet of the protocols,’ Grynkewich said

The U.S. is still adhering to the aforementioned agreement regarding overflights in Syria

The U.S. is still adhering to the aforementioned agreement regarding overflights in Syria

The U.S. is still adhering to the aforementioned agreement regarding overflights in Syria

'Over the course of my career I have not seen this kind of disregard for agreed upon protocols and deconfliction rules,' Grynkewich told NBC News

'Over the course of my career I have not seen this kind of disregard for agreed upon protocols and deconfliction rules,' Grynkewich told NBC News

‘Over the course of my career I have not seen this kind of disregard for agreed upon protocols and deconfliction rules,’ Grynkewich told NBC News

DailyMail.com reached out to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., but did not receive a response by the time of publication

DailyMail.com reached out to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., but did not receive a response by the time of publication

DailyMail.com reached out to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., but did not receive a response by the time of publication

'So this is very unique, what we're seeing right now' Grynkewich said of the overflights

'So this is very unique, what we're seeing right now' Grynkewich said of the overflights

‘So this is very unique, what we’re seeing right now’ Grynkewich said of the overflights

At this time, the military official said he does not think the Russians have any incentives to strongarm or attack U.S. troops in Syria. 

‘But it just increases the risk of miscalculation, and given things like the MQ-9 incident in the Black Sea, it’s not the kind of behavior that I’d expect out of a professional Air Force,’ Grynkewich said. 

DailyMail.com reached out to the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., but did not receive a response by the time of publication. 

‘Over the course of my career I have not seen this kind of disregard for agreed upon protocols and deconfliction rules,’ Grynkewich told NBC. ‘So this is very unique, what we’re seeing right now.’ 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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