On Wednesday the Croatian Prime Minister is scheduled to visit NATO's Combined Air Operations Center northeast of Madrid to establish why NATO's defense systems failed to alert Croatia of the incoming drone that crashed in Zagreb’s Jarun neighborhood last week. The bases' primary mission is to monitor Europe's NATO airspace south of the Alps, including Croatia.
Late on Thursday night a 14 meter drone crashed into the Jarun neighborhood of Zagreb. The unmanned aircraft came from Ukraine, but it remains unknown whether it was from the Russian or Ukrainian side. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commented on the incident on Tuesday: “The indications we have so far on the drone that crashed in Croatia, outside of Zagreb, is that that was not an armed attack, not an armed drone. But it just highlights that with more military activities in the air, with drone, with planes, there is a risk for incidents and accidents. And therefore, we need to be extremely vigilant, we need to react when needed, and we need to make sure that we have the line of communications also with the Russians, to prevent instance from really creating dangerous situations. So, that's the reason why we are increasing the presence, and also the surveillance and monitoring the air-space over NATO.”
Ahead of his visit to Spain tomorrow, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Defense Minister Mario Banožić and the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, Admiral Robert Hranj, visited the French aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle" stationed off the coast of Dubrovnik on Tuesday. On Tuesday and Wednesday Croatian and French pilots will be conducting joint-training flights throughout the northwestern parts of the country. The French Rafale aircraft are also conducting flights over the capital Zagreb. France has previously expressed readiness to assist Croatia in airspace surveillance, and their early warning and surveillance aircraft have already flown over Croatian airspace.
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