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The US has defiantly launched an RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone into the same airspace which saw another drone downed by two Russian fighter jets. The news comes amid an escalating diplomatic crisis in which the US has vowed to continue surveillance.

According to the Flightradar service, the RQ-4 Global Hawk with the call sign FORTE10 was headed over the Black Sea just south of the Crimean Peninsula.

The drone took off from Sigonella air base near the Italian city of Catania before circling in NATO ally Romania’s airspace for several hours.

It then headed for international airspace over the sea in the general area where an MQ-9 Reaper drone was downed by Russian forces earlier this week.

The US called the encounter, which saw the drone splash down, “dangerous, unprofessional and reckless” and released video footage of the incident appearing to show a Russian Su-27 fighter jet flying by and dumping fuel over the drone.

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