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News > U.S.

US Military Exercise Destroys Hectares of Crops in Romania

  • US military joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018.

    US military joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 June 2019
Opinion

"Around 13:30, we harvested barley in the fields, when the rumble and smoke signals came from the corn and sunflower fields nearby. We thought there was a fire and quickly ran over, but found the military vehicles running in our fields."

U.S. tanks mistakenly crossed an agricultural area in southeastern Romania on Thursday, destroying hectares of crops belonging to the local population, the Romanian Defense Ministry said in a press release.

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According to the Romanian Ministry of Defense, the U.S. tanks crossed into an area that was not agreed upon by the government in Bucharest.

The U.S. tanks startled the local population, who were not aware of the ongoing NATO military drills that were being held in the county of Ialomita.

Local media interviews with witnesses showed latter's fear at the time.

"Around 13:30, we harvested barley in the fields, when the rumble and smoke signals came from the corn and sunflower fields nearby. We thought there was a fire and quickly ran over, but found the military vehicles running in our fields," said land owner Liviu Mereuta, quoted by local news website stiripesurse.ro.

"I did not know it was a NATO exercise, the people were panicked...We entered the area between the tanks, but they did not notice us. They defied us, they went from the sunflower fields to those of the corn, then to the wheat," he said.

The commission met with the representatives of the local Stelnica Town Hall and the landowners late on the day, for assessing the damages, establishing the compensation amounts and the manner of granting them, in accordance with the national legislation and the bilateral agreements in force, concluded the release.

Almost 8,000 soldiers from six countries, namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and the United States, participate on June 3-24, in Multinational Exercise Saber Guardian 2019, which is on Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian territory.

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