WAR DRUMS: Kerry Says US Destroyer Had Right to Shoot Down Russian Jets That ‘Simulated Attack’

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.