The appearance of American fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters in the Middle East has made the Russians reconsider their behaviour. Russian planes have stopped staging provocations in the air.
Such a statement was made by Alex Grynkewich, head of the Central Command of the US Air Force. According to him, the behaviour of Russian pilots in the sky over Syria has changed after a squadron of F-35 Lightning II arrived in the region.
He added that the Russians’ actions in the skies still remain unprofessional. However, U.S. commanders have noticed positive developments over the past month that are generally leading to a lower level of escalation between the two countries.
The dispatch of the F-35 Lightning II to the region was initially linked to Iran’s aggressive actions in the Gulf of Hormuz. However, during the same time period, Russian fighter jets began provoking US pilots and twice attacked MQ-9 Reaper drones.
In addition to the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II, fourth-generation F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters are in the region. One of them was able to shoot down three MiG-29 aircraft over Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of a combat sortie in 1994. Also operating in the Persian Gulf are the iconic A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, for which this appears to be one of the last deployments before retirement.
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