BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:10 P.M.) – The Russian military nearly came to blows with a U.S. aircraft that was flying near the Hmeimim (var. Khmeimim) Airbase along the Syrian coast, the Chinese-language Sina News publication reported.
Citing the Sina report, the Russian publication Avia.Pro said, “the mysterious incident occurred near the borders of Syria,” pointing out that “the American strategic B-52H bomber came extremely close to the Russian military base, as a result of which the crew received a warning from the Russian military that they were ready to open fire.”
Avia.Pro said the Russian military also warned a U.S. F-16 fighter jet that was escorting the B-52H bomber in the eastern Mediterranean.
“It is reported that the Russian army’s ground radar deployed at the Khmeimim base detected a B-52H bomber approaching, and then the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system activated the fire control radar and captured the B-52H bomber with readiness to open fire,” the Sina report said.
“At the same time, the Russian military sent an emergency warning to the crew of the American bomber on an open channel, stating that the planes had entered the zone of Russian military control – if they could not immediately leave to return to the safe zone, the Russian military would launch missiles to down the aircraft. Having heard the warning from the Russian side, the crew of the B-52H bomber immediately left the airspace near the borders of Syria, ”the newspaper added.
Neither the U.S. nor Russia has commented on these latest claims.