Russia blames US for near-collision of planes over Syria
MOSCOW - A Russian military spokesman is blaming the United States for a near-collision of the countries' warplanes in Syrian airspace.
Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement Saturday that the Oct. 17 incident involved a Sukhoi-35, Russia's most advanced fighter jet, and an American E-3 radar plane near the city of Deir al-Zour. Konashenkov said Russia had informed the U.S. military of the Su-35's intent to fly in the area.
But , Konashenkov says the American plane unexpectedly descended by about one kilometer (0.6 miles) and came within 500 meters (0.3 miles) of the Russian plane.
The incident was first reported on Friday by a U.S. military spokesman, who said it had been raised with Russian commanders but deliberately not made public.
Konashenkov said the Americans apologized for the incident.