– The MQ-9 was conducting an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission when it encountered Russian aircraft in the Black Sea region, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said at a briefing Tuesday. The Kremlin’s forces were not able to recover the MQ-9 — a drone with a wingspan of 66 feet — after the crash, Ryder said.
– Moscow blamed the incident on the U.S. drone’s “provocative” flight path, and denied that its jets made physical contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle. The drone “was moving deliberately and provocatively toward the Russian territory with its transponders turned off,” said Antonov.