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With Russia now openly taunting the U.S. military, Americans have to wonder where is President Barack Obama?
The Defense Department confirmed Friday that a Russian SU-27 did what is known as a “barrel roll” over the top of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 earlier in the day, according to CNN. The U.S. plane was reportedly on a reconnaissance mission in international airspace above the Baltic Sea.
“The SU-27 intercepted the U.S. aircraft flying a routine route at high rate of speed from the side then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135,” Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a U.S. Army spokesperson, said in a statement.
Pulling of a stunt seen in the film “Top Gun,” the Russian aircraft came within 25 feet of the U.S. aircraft before flying inverted above it.
This is the second time this month that a Russian aircraft has pulled off the barrel roll maneuver over a U.S. aircraft.
U.S. European Command spokesman Danny Hernandez told CNN on April 14, a Russian jet “performed erratic and aggressive maneuvers” as it flew within 50 feet of a U.S. aircraft’s wing tip.
Russian jets also buzzed the Navy missile destroyer USS Donald Cook on two occasions this month in the Baltic Sea.
As for President Obama, he had a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin AFTER the incident involving the U.S. warship to discuss Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria, but did not bring up the incident.
Pres Obama had phone call today with Russian Pres Putin. Buzzing of US warship by Russian planes last week didn't come up, says @PressSec .
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 18, 2016
At the time, White House press secretary Josh Earnest dismissed the buzzing of the USS Donald Cook as “not particularly unusual.”
But proving the Obama administration is no pushover, he did used the term “concern” three times.
“Those kinds of activities are destabilizing and a source of some concern,” Earnest said. “But they’re not particularly unusual. And there is an already well-established channel for expressing our concerns about those kinds of incidents from the U.S. military attaché in Moscow to his Russian military counterpart. Those concerns were raised at that level and were not escalated beyond that.”
With Russia continuing to take such provocative measures to embarrass the U.S. military, what will it take a mid-air collision to prompt a weak-kneed Obama to personally intervene?
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