US drones changed routes over the Black Sea, moving away from the Crimea, after incident UAV MQ-9 Reaper with Russian fighters.
CNN, citing US officials, says that US drone flights in international airspace continue. However, their routes lie at a considerable distance from the airspace around the Crimean Peninsula and the eastern parts of the Black Sea.
One of the sources publications explained that the purpose of the new routes is to avoid any provocation, as the Biden administration does not want to cause an incident that could potentially escalate into a direct conflict between US and Russian forces. According to him, American UAV flights are still on new routes, but the United States prefers to return to those that will pass closer to the territories controlled by Russia.
CNN sources also said Russia could try to unilaterally announce an airspace closure over much of southern and eastern Ukraine in an attempt to push US drones as far away as possible.
Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder confirmed that the US continues to use drones in the Black Sea region, but declined to say if their routes have changed: “For reasons of operational security, I will not go into the details of routes, missions, time frames.”
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