A Russian fighter jet flew close to a U.S. Air Force spy plane "in an unsafe and unprofessional manner" over the Black Sea on January 25, a U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman said.
The Pentagon is investigating the incident, which took place in international airspace, Lieutenant Colonel Michelle L. Baldanza said on January 28.
The Washington Free Beacon daily, quoting anonymous U.S. defense officials, said the Russian SU-27 fighter jet "came within 20 feet" of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, an electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft, and flew alongside the U.S. plane before performing an "aggressive banking turn away" that "disturbed the controllability" of the American plane.
Separately, the Pentagon held a video conference on January 28 with Russian military officials to discuss flight safety over Syria "to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity," according to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.
He did not mention the intercept over the Black Sea.