Kerry says US Navy destroyer could have shot down Russian warplanes
Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday the U.S. Navy ship that was buzzed by two Russian warplanes in the Baltic Sea this week could have opened fire under U.S. military rules of engagement.
The USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) was conducting flight operations with a Polish helicopter Monday when two Russian Su-24 attack aircraft came within 1,000 yards of the destroyer, flying just 100 feet off the ground. The following day, a Russian jet came within 30 feet of the destroyer.
A U.S. defense official described the maneuvers to Fox News as a “simulated attack profile.”
“We condemn this kind of behavior. It is reckless. It is provocative. It is dangerous. And under the rules of engagement that could have been a shoot-down,” Kerry told CNN Espanol in Miami Thursday.
In all cases, a military commander has the authority to defend his or her ship, plane or other unit. The commander is expected to use his or her best judgment under the circumstances to determine whether the ship faces an imminent threat.
“People need to understand that this is serious business and the United States is not going to be intimidated on the high seas,” Kerry added. “We are communicating to the Russians how dangerous this is and our hope is that this will never be repeated.”
The planes appeared to be unarmed. At the time of the incidents, the Cook was in international waters about 70 nautical miles from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, which hosts Russian military forces.
The Cook did not respond except to unsuccessfully query the Russian pilots by radio.
FOX NEWS REPORT HERE