U.S. intercepts Russian bombers near Alaska
The U.S. dispatched a pair of F-22 stealth fighter jets to intercept two Russian TU-95 bomber aircrafts near Alaska on Monday, government officials told Fox News. The Pentagon confirmed the incident to CNN and said the interception was conducted in a “safe and professional” manner.
Russia’s planes, capable of dropping nuclear weapons but reportedly unarmed, flew 280 miles southwest of Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, about 100 miles from Kodiak Island, entering the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone. The F-22s flew alongside the TU-95s for 12 miles before the Russian pilots headed back to their base in eastern Russia.
U.S. military officials called the altercation “nothing out of the ordinary” and “not dissimilar from what we’ve seen in the past with respect to Russian long-range aviation.” On July 4, 2015, Russia scrambled bombers off the coast of California, coming as close as 40 miles from Mendocino.
“This was a show of force by the Russians to show us that they are still here,” Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger told Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. Kinzinger called the incident “an attempt to come up as close as they could to our international borders to see what our reaction would be.”
This wasn’t the first direct Russian military provocation of the Trump era. The Viktor Leonov, a Russian spy ship, has been spotted twice since February hovering just outside U.S. jurisdiction off the east coast, first near Connecticut, then near Florida.
Call me a hater, but now seems like a good time for the White House to actually develop some foreign policy.
[screenshot: Fox News]