US fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

US fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska
© Getty

The U.S. military dispatched two F-22 stealth fighters late Monday to intercept a pair of Russian bombers near Alaska, according to a Pentagon official.

The official told The Washington Examiner Tuesday the Air Force’s jets visually identified the Russian vehicles as TU-95 “Bear” long-range bombers.

The American jets briefly flew alongside the Russian bombers before the bombers changed course and flew away from the U.S.

ADVERTISEMENT
The official noted that TU-95s are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but the planes involved in Monday’s incident did not appear armed.

The interception was conducted in a “safe and professional” manner, the official added, as the bombers did not violate U.S. airspace or break international norms.

Monday’s incident comes amid escalating tension between Russia and the U.S., particularly over Syria’s ongoing civil war.

President Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airfield earlier this month after reports that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons.

Trump’s decision to strike Assad’s government earlier this month put the U.S. at odds with Russia, which has long supported Assad.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that the chemical attack — which purportedly killed more than 80 Syrian civilians — was likely “staged.”

Lavrov added that another U.S. military strike in Syria could prompt “grave consequences not only for regional but global security.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said earlier this month that U.S.-Russia relations have hit “a low point” following the strike.

The top U.S. diplomat added that “improvement in the long-term relationship” between both nations is required to resolve the conflict in Syria.