MQ-9 Reaper UAV. US Air Force Photo

Rep. Gaetz Sends Warning After Russia Intercepts U.S. Drone Over International Waters

MQ-9 Reaper UAV. US Air Force Photo
MQ-9 Reaper UAV. US Air Force Photo

Rep. Matt Gaetz warned on Tuesday that President Joe Biden’s insistence on fighting a proxy war in Ukraine is pushing the U.S. closer to war with Russia.

As The Free Press reported on Tuesday, a pair of Russian pilots purposely hit an American MQ-9 spy drone, forcing the U.S. to bring down the drone into the Black Sea. The drone was operating above international waters.

U.S. officials dubbed the incident “an unprofessional and unsafe maneuver” as well as “extremely unusual.”

Related: U.S. Forced To “Bring Down” Drone After Russian Jet Slams Into It Over International Waters

“Our MQ-9 aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace when it was intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said in a statement.

“In fact, this unsafe and unprofessional act by the Russians nearly caused both aircraft to crash,” he added.

Tuesday’s incident marks the first publicly known case of a Russian warplane purposely damaging a U.S. aircraft amid the conflict.

“While it’s unclear if this was a case of a rogue pilot or not, the U.S. European Command called the Russian actions ‘dangerous,’ noting that they ‘could lead to miscalculation and unintended escalation.’”

That is exactly what Rep. Gaetz warned about.

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In an Instagram post, the Fort Walton Beach Republican observed, “With today’s loss of a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea, we are once again reminded of the treacherous reality of our involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war.”

“The United States of America has already been depleted of more than $100 Billion for aid to Ukraine. Now, we’re losing precious American technology worth hundreds of millions of dollars like the MQ-9 Reaper,” Gaetz continued.

“It is impossible to ignore the dire risk of total war with Russia as we teeter on the precipice of direct conflict,” he added.

“I am once again calling on Joe Biden to end our involvement in this war before the counting of lost dollars in this conflict becomes the counting of dead Americans in Ukraine.”

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