Veteran US senator urges downing Russian fighter jets – RT World News

President Reagan would do it right now, after losing Reaper drone over Black Sea, claims Lindsey Graham

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has suggested opening fire on Russian warplanes intercepting US drones, after one such encounter ended with an MQ-9 Reaper plunging into the Black Sea on Tuesday.

“What would Ronald Reagan do now? He would start shooting down Russian planes if they threatened our assets,” the veteran Republican hawk told Fox News, commenting on the incident.

The Pentagon accused Russian military pilots of performing dangerous aerial maneuvers near the drone, which it said was on a surveillance mission near Crimea. At one point, a Su-27 reportedly struck the Reaper’s propeller, knocking it down.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied reports of a collision and said the drone stalled after performing a drastic maneuver. Moscow’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, has suggested that American drones capable of carrying weapons have no place near Russian borders.

Graham attributed the encounter to alleged weakness exhibited by President Joe Biden, whom the senator described as “like a deer in the headlights.” He concluded that the problem started with the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan in 2021, will lead to new conflicts.

“If Putin gets away with it, there’s Taiwan. The two are linked.” Graham claimed, referring to Chinese self-administered territory, which President Biden pledged to defend militarily, should China attempt to invade.

Beijing has said its policy is to pursue peaceful reunification with Taiwan, but may resort to military force, should the island’s government attempt to formally declare independence. The Chinese government alleged that some in Washington were encouraging such an outcome.

Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity, another foreign policy hawk, suggested shooting down two Russian drones over Ukraine in retaliation and threatening to shoot down ten more. “the next time.”

Graham, in response, praised the approach taken by former US President Donald Trump, including his order to assassinate Iranian General Qasem Soleimani for allegedly “Killing Americans all over the Middle East.”

Soleimani was a key figure in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and was hailed as a national hero for his efforts to crush the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terror group. Tehran retaliated for his killing, which occurred in January 2020 during a visit to Iraq, by bombarding US military bases in the country with missiles. American troops would have barely had time to evacuate.

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