Heat traps fired by a Russian fighter in Syria damaged a US MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance and attack drone. This was stated in a statement by the commander of the US Central Command, Lieutenant General Alexus Grinkevich.
According to him, the incident occurred on July 23 at 12:23 pm EDT (7:23 pm Moscow time). An American drone was on a mission to counter ISIS* when a Russian fighter jet flew perilously close, releasing heat traps from just meters above the drone.
“One of the Russian heat traps hit the MQ-9 and severely damaged its propeller,” the lieutenant general said, quoting TASS. Subsequently, the drone was able to return to base.
Earlier, Rear Admiral Oleg Gurinov, Deputy Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, said it was a US drone that had entered into a dangerous close encounter with Russian aircraft in the Al-Bab area. As a result of the impact of the guidance systems, the onboard defense systems were automatically activated.
Recall, on March 14, over the Black Sea near Crimea, the Russian military discovered an American MQ-9 Reaper UAV flying in the direction of the state border of the Russian Federation. The fighters were lifted into the air. The drone lost control due to sudden maneuvers and fell into the water. The Russian planes did not make contact with him and did not open fire. Later, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Lavrov awarded the Su-27 pilots involved in the drone crash.
* An international terrorist organization banned in Russia.