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Russian jets had mistaken 'near miss' with U.S. planes over Syria

The Japan Times

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT – A Russian fighter jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. warplane over eastern Syria, U.S. defense officials said Friday, highlighting the risks of a serious mishap in the increasingly crowded airspace. The "near miss" occurred late on Oct. 17 when a Russian jet that was escorting a larger spy plane maneuvered near an American warplane, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeff Harrigian said. The Russian jet came to "inside of half a mile" (800 meters) of the U.S. jet, he added. Another U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the American pilot was buffeted by the turbulence from the Russian jet's engines. "It was close enough you could feel the jet wash of the plane passing by," the official said.


Reports of Russian mercenary deaths from U.S. air power underscore dangers of Syria's war

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – It's a scenario many feared in the fog of Syria's multifront war: a confrontation in which U.S. forces, responding to a provocation, kill Russian mercenaries or contractors on a crowded battlefield.


U.S. warplanes, including B-52, destroy Islamic State chemical arms plant near Mosul

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – American warplanes eliminated a "significant chemical threat" to Iraqi civilians by bombing a complex of buildings near the northern city of Mosul that Islamic State militants had converted from pharmaceutical manufacturing to chemical weapons production, the three-star general in charge of U.S. air operations in the Middle East said Tuesday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told reporters at the Pentagon that the target was an Islamic State headquarters also used to produce lethal chemicals, possibly including chlorine and mustard gas. He provided no details on the chemical production. Harrigian described the airstrike as a large, well-planned operation, which destroyed more than 50 targets at the site with a variety of U.S. warplanes, including Air Force B-52 bombers and Marine Corps F-18D attack planes. Other U.S. officials said later that a total of 12 U.S. planes were used.


U.S.-Russia calls increase to keep aircraft apart over Syria's skies

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – U.S. military phone calls with Russia have increased as the two countries work to avoid aircraft mishaps in the increasingly crowded skies over Syria, a senior American Air Force commander said Wednesday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, who is in charge of U.S. air operations in the Middle East, also told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has been setting up temporary "deconfliction" zones around Syria. Military operations by Russia, the Syrian government or its allies are essentially restricted in those zones so American and U.S.-backed forces are protected. Harrigian declined to say how many exist or where they are. But he acknowledged one is about 55 km (34 miles) around Tanf, near the Jordan border.


US says it destroyed ISIS chemical threat in Iraq - Germany arrests 3 Syrian men believed to have been sent by ISIS - 3 women killed in Kenya 'pledged allegiance to ISIS'

FOX News

WASHINGTON – American warplanes eliminated a "significant chemical threat" to Iraqi civilians by bombing a complex of buildings near the northern city of Mosul that Islamic State militants had converted from pharmaceutical manufacturing to chemical weapons production, the three-star general in charge of U.S. air operations in the Middle East said Tuesday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian told reporters at the Pentagon that the target was an Islamic State headquarters also used to produce lethal chemicals, possibly including chlorine and mustard gas. He provided no details on the chemical production. Harrigian described the airstrike as a large, well-planned operation, which destroyed more than 50 targets at the site with a variety of U.S. warplanes, including Air Force B-52 bombers and Marine Corps F-18D attack planes. Other U.S. officials said later that a total of 12 U.S. planes were used.