RUSSIA and the US are facing a crisis after a Russian fighter jet brought down a US reaper drone.
The incident over the Black Sea marks the first time since the height of the Cold War that an American aircraft has been brought down by the Russians.
And the US has warned it could escalate into war as fears of miscalculation are now looming over Putin’s bloody war in Ukraine.
The drone was taken down while flying over the Black Sea near Russian occupied Crimea – close to the current frontline.
US officials said the Russian Su-27 jet struck the propeller of the MQ-9 Reaper drone resulting in it crash landing in the sea and its loss.
Prior to the collision, which happened at 7am local time, two Su-27s had “dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9” in a “reckless” and “unprofessional” manner.
Horrified US military personnel in Germany watched a live feed from the drone as the Russian jets repeatedly flew around it, dumping fuel to damage cameras and sensors, reported New York Times.
Senior US officials have been worried for months that some sort of incident over the Black Sea could lead to a miscommunication and confrontation.
And predictably, the Russians denied everything – instead claiming the Reaper crashed due to a mistake by the pilot.
But what are the options for the US should they wish to respond to the Russians?
The most direct form of retaliation – and of course the most dangerous – would be a direct attack on Russian targets.
It was a course of action contemplated by Donald Trump back in 2019 when the Iranians shot down a US surveillance drone with a missile.
The president had reportedly initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.
But despite saying the US has been “cocked and loaded” to attack he called off the strike with 10 minutes to spare after being told that the airstrike might kill as many as 150 people.
But unlike the Iranian incident, the US appear to be chalking up this drone drama to reckless accident rather than a deliberate aggressive action.
So this lowers the chances of Washington taking military action in response.
Also – any attack on the Russian military risks the…