Jim Michaels, a reporter for USA Today, is out with this scoop in which he interviewed the pilots of the two U.S. F-22 Raptors that raced to intercept a pair of Syrian Su-24 Fencer aircraft last week near Hasakah, Syria.
The stealth prowess of the fifth-generation fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp. was apparently in effect during the encounter, as the U.S. pilots said they came within 2,000 feet of the enemy aircraft without the Syrian pilots realizing they were being tailed, according to the article.
“I followed him around for all three of his loops,” one of the pilots told Michaels. “He didn’t appear to have any idea I was there.”
The incident came a day after the U.S. scrambled fighters against Syrian Su-24s that bombed Kurdish forces operating near American special operations forces on the ground in the northeast part of the country in an incident that was the closest the U.S. has come to combat in the war-torn country.
The F-22s were prepared to engage the Su-24s but determined the latter didn’t appear to be carrying a weapons payload and thus didn’t pose a threat to U.S. and coalition forces on the ground, USA Today reported.
Read the full story here.