Pentagon: Russia likely trying to recover US drone debris in Black Sea

A Russian Su-27 military aircraft flies near a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 “Reaper” drone over the Black Sea, March 14, 2023 in this still image taken from handout video released by the Pentagon. Courtesy of U.S. European Command/The Pentagon/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has indications that Russia is likely trying to recover debris from the U.S. drone downed after a Russian intercept over the Black Sea on Tuesday, the Pentagon said on Thursday, even as it played down Moscow’s prospects for success.

“We do have indications that Russia is likely making an effort to try to recover MQ-9 debris … however, we assess it’s very unlikely that they would be able to recover anything useful,” said Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesperson.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russian ships had been seen near the area where the drone had crashed, though they did not appear to have recovered any parts of the drone yet. It was not clear if they were still in the area.


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