Posted to the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Civil Relations Service (AFP-CRS) Facebook Page (Nov 8, 2019): Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana’s response to the media on the reported Flares fired by the Chinese during ISR missions of the PAF
Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana’s response to the media on the reported Flares fired by the Chinese during ISR missions of the PAF:
There are a lot of questions and comments about the flares that were seen by our aircraft while conducting an ISR (Intel, surveillance and Reconnaisance) mission in the WPS. Questions like: Is this a cause for concern? What were our reactions? Have we filed protests?
My response to these queries were the following after I made my inquiry.:
1. The flares were fired from the three chinese occupied artificial Islands within our EEZ while our planes were passing by these Islands.
2. None of our aircraft flew over these Islands. Hence, these were not directed against our aircrafts as they are about 5 nautical miles away and at an altitude of 5,000 ft distance from the artificial Islands. So there was no danger to our aircraft.
3. Why were the Chinese firing their flares? I dont know. Maybe they were having some celebrations.But my suspicion is that they are letting our aircraft know where they (the chinese) are lest our aircraft stray over them. It is just a warning to communicate where they are. Nothing more. They were never a direct threat to our aircraft.
4. Is it a cause for concern? No, for the reasons given above.
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