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HomeVideoCNN: Military expert weighs in on footage of US drone takedown

CNN: Military expert weighs in on footage of US drone takedown

Lt. General Ben Hodges (Ret.) weighs in on newly released footage from the US reaper drone taken down by a Russian fighter jet. #CNN #News


An extraordinary look, rarely seen at the moment when a Russian fighter jet collided with a US drone. The US military just put out this video today and in this we’ll show you it goes out of communication a bit. But take a look at this still shot. You can see

One of the things that the government, the Pentagon has laid out. The Russian fighter jet just dumping the U.S. dumping fuel at one shot. And then Russia has denied that the collision that it collided with the drone. But in these side by side photos, you can see that

The drones propeller has been damaged. And you can see through the video from the collision you see right there. Let’s get over to Oren Liebermann, who’s live at the Pentagon, because not only is this video the fact that we are seeing it extraordinary, Oren, but you also are learning some more about what

Russian leadership knew about this. Absolutely. So first, let’s take a video, a look at the video to get a better sense of this. And there are two clips here of two different passes from those Russian fighter jets as they approach the US MQ nine Reaper drone. So here is the past

Where they dump fuel as they get close and in the first pass. The fighter jet doesn’t hit the Russian I’m sorry, the U.S. drone. And you can see the propeller still spinning there. The propeller is working fine. It is the second clip that makes it clearer what happened here

And that the Russian denial simply doesn’t hold water. That jet approaches Again, a Russian Sukhoi su 27 fighter jet. And as it passes, it once again dumps fuel as it hits the drone. The video itself is disrupted a little bit. Essentially, it’s pixelated and goes to bars for a moment.

But when it comes back online, you can see the damaged propeller, a propeller, obviously not supposed to look like that with a bent. And that’s the telling signal, the telling clip of video where you see the collision between the Russian fighter jet or the effects of the collision,

I should say, between the Russian fighter jet and the drone itself. Now, for more context on this, we have learned from two U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence behind the matter that the instructions to harass the drone essentially the orders to the Russian fighter pilots came from some of the highest levels

Of the Russian Ministry of Defense to harass, disturb, disrupt in some way the operation of that U.S. surveillance drone. Those officials say it’s not clear that it went higher than that. In other words, it’s not clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin knew in advance this was going to happen. But it is telling

That the officials are telling us that the highest levels of the Russian Ministry of Defense gave the orders to harass the U.S. drone over the black sea. The drone itself then went down, according to U.S. Air Force Europe, some 70 or 80 miles southwest of Crimea. Now for the follow on here,

The video itself gives support to the U.S. side in the U.S. position and essentially narrative of what happened here and seriously undercuts the Russian claims that there had been no collision which was what the U.S. or rather the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said after he was summoned to the State Department

On the day this story came out. Kate, we will continue to follow this. And, of course, to see this incredible video of how this all played out. Absolutely. Great reporting, Oren. Thank you very much. For more on this. Let me bring in retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges. He’s a former commander of U.S.

Army Forces in Europe. General, thanks for coming in. 19 passes made by the jets going on for 30 to 40 minutes is what we’re learning. What sticks out to you in this video? Well, two things. First of all, this obviously was was not an accident. This was a deliberate act.

And I think or did a good job of sort of laying out the context for that. But what makes us important is not the loss of a drone, but this is this is what it means to defend the so-called international rules based order, international airspace, freedom of navigation, claims to territorial waters.

All of these things are being played out now because of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and their illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. So this is a symptom of this And, of course, the Chinese will watch to see how we respond to this as well because of their own

Illegal claims in the Pacific. What do you think of how? What do you think first of how the response we have heard from the Pentagon, from the defense secretary, from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, coming out very clearly and talking about this now a couple of times. Yeah, I’ve been impressed, actually,

Though, Secretary Ashton, of course, conveying the seriousness of this, Chairman Milley, but also not overreacting. This is not the kind of thing where now we’re going to go out and start kinetic engagements against Russian aircraft. Instead, what Secretary Austin said. All right. We’re going to put another drone back up there.

This is international airspace. We were doing everything according to law. And so this is how you protect and defend the use of international airspace, which affects all of us, not just there in and around Ukraine. It also is important, I think, to see the example of the United States with transparency, immediately

Releasing a video saying this is what happened and you and your team there have done a good job of making it clear what happened. You can be sure those two Russian aircraft have video capability. And if they were, in fact, no not guilty of what it’s clear that they’ve done. No doubt

The Kremlin would have rolled out that video immediately to make their case. And we haven’t seen any of that One question is always, you know, with every move, is there is there a counter move from Russia? Do you do you think, though, important for transparency, as you say, showing leadership and transparency

On the part of the Pentagon? Do you think Russia will interpret this and see a reason to further respond now that this video has been put out? I think they will wait to see what we do next. Obviously, I mean, this is the typical Kremlin playbook of deny everything distort, distract

To try and change the narrative. And of course, if we don’t respond by putting a drone up again, then this kind of gives weight to their claim that their airspace around Crimea is actually theirs. So we are correct and the secretary is correct to go back in and challenge that.

But I think there’s no need to overreact or try to shoot something down. But we have to make sure we continue to uphold freedom of navigation and use of international airspace. And the as we see in the video is Oren laid out very well. The video very clearly undercuts Russia’s denial,

Though, a Russian strategy, as you point to, General, that the Russian jet, that the Russian jet did, that the incident didn’t happen, that the Russian jet didn’t clip the drone. But what is still unclear is whether the Russian pilots intended to strike the drone. Does the answer to that question matter?

Matter from your perspective? Well, this reflects exactly what John Kirby said yesterday, that this is a reckless, unprovoked personal and unsafe act by the Russian pilots. I have not been impressed over the past 14 months with the level of training and discipline of Russian pilots It’s

One thing to take off and land and and fly close to something. But, I mean, when you talk about getting up next to another aircraft, getting as close as they did there with turbulence, things that can happen. The chances of a mistake are very high. And I think I don’t know

That they intended to actually hit it. I’m sure that what they wanted to do was cause it to fail or to disrupt the operation by dumping fuel on it, which in itself, obviously, that was a deliberate act to actually hit it. Of course, we don’t know.

But I mean, when you get that close, those are the kind of things that can happen. And again, this is the same military that is committing war crimes every day in Ukraine. And it reflects, I think, also a very brutal, ruthless sort of society there. So I’m not surprised that their pilots

Would be a reflection of that in terms of undisciplined. Hmm. Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, thank you very much.




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  2. The western are very funny. I can't believe some people believe that the jet hits the propeller. 2nd, those propellers have different colors. One is striped and the other doesn't. Another thing is, all the media failed to reveal that the transponder was switched off. The question is, why?

  3. all four propellers were still intact? literally showed all 4 after the "collision" still spinning and not damaged. Photoshop? bs?

  4. Whoa! Is it not right for Harry to be by his father's side?
    Why are mainstream media so against Harry and Megan, doing their best to create devision?

  5. This was pure drone abuse and he should be reported (that poor innocent drone)…lol, seriously though, remember that america is in Russia's back yard, Russia is NOT in america's back yard, and when you think you are the world police then you're on your way to being just as bad as the Germans were.

  6. We (USA) blow up the Nordstream pipeline and cause an environmental disaster and now we're butthurt over a drone? Hypocrisy at its best.

  7. Once the CIA staged the 2014 coup in Ukraine, this was the kiss of death for Ukraine. The US had no business in Ukraine, It's not nor has it ever been in our Vital interest. So here we are, 200 billion +and counting down the Ukraine drain! Biden nixed peace talks that were going on months ago between Russia & Ukraine. Biden blew up Nord Stream 1& 2 !! International Terrorism! NATO weapons stocks are way down. Could the US have caused a bigger cluster in EUROPE!! Not to mention the realignment of the world order. All of this should be blamed on the Policy Makers in Washington DC !! They are Modern Day Bolsheviks, hijacking our foreign/military policy with their own agenda. They have an ethnic, tribal blood libel vendetta against Russia. Their pushing for war with China over Taiwan!! People are dying in Ukraine, suffering in ways we cannot comprehend! No one in DC is calling for a cease fire, or PEACE! Our leaders show a complete lack of leadership.

  8. The Russians lack skill, planning and tactics in general. The context of which, do that promotes public support for the war. Easier to sell the sizzle then the steak, knocking out the Reaper drone.

  9. I don't think there was contact directly between the jet and the drone. It is more likely that the dumped fuel damaged the prop and probably some of the fuselage. Think about how heavy something like a gallon of milk is. Now imagine it is flying at you at 200mph and you can see how much damage a little liquid can do. Propellers optimized for aircraft are a lot lighter than those used for boats and subs, and it doesn't take much to damage them.

  10. WOW are you that IGNORANT !!!! They did not hit the drone, the FUEL did, it would be like a WALL of water hitting it at hundreds of MPH. They never "hit" the drone. And this is your military EXPERT??????? WOW. The wall of Fuel hitting the props bent one of them. Super smart smart way to do it! You guys saying the pilot was not skilled LOL . Nice job CNN wrong again as usual ……FFS

  11. US should never assume that no country dared to hit at them. Rogue countries and those considered enemies should never be given such opportunities. Russia denied that they would not invade Ukraine but eventually they did. US should anticipate such thing would happen and be prepared to take evasive or drastic action if such incident really happened.. Do not assume you are on international airspace or water. US must not be complacent about what NK will do. What about US navy command boats in the Persian Gulf. ? They were seized by Iran's IRGC in 2016. Have US not learned their lessons?

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