BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:00 P.M.) – A U.S. military aircraft reportedly penetrated Syrian airspace via the eastern Mediterranean this week and approached the Russian Hmeimim (var. Khmeimim) Airbase near the coastal city of Jableh.
According to the Interfax News Agency, a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft entered Syrian airspace and approached the Hmeimim Airbase and flew south towards the Tartous Naval Base, which is also used by the Russian military.
This U.S. military aircraft reportedly flew less than 20 km away from the Hmeimim Airbase, which is the closest approach that the American armed forces have made since the Russian military first deployed to Syria.
“The approach was 16 and 21 km, respectively, the flight altitude was on average 7.6 km above sea level,” Avia.Pro cited Ruposters as saying this week.
In the past, the Russian military has deployed its Su-35 jets to intercept the U.S. aircraft before they could penetrate Syrian airspace; however, this time, they remained stationed at the Hmeimim Airbase.
“The American military reconnaissance aircraft, despite the deployment by Russia of the S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, was able to violate Syrian airspace near Russian military air bases and go deep into it for almost 5 km. Russian air defense systems did not react to such a violation, while Russian fighters did not rise to intercept the US Navy aircraft,” Avia.Pro added.
It should be noted that the Russian Ministry of Defense has yet to comment on this latest approach by the U.S. military.