US fighters intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

US fighters intercept Russian bombers near Alaska
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U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian nuclear-capable bombers west of Alaska on Tuesday, according to a statement from North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The Russian TU-95 bombers, which were accompanied by two Russian fighter jet escorts, turned away before entering U.S. airspace, according to the statement, which was obtained by CNN.


The bombers were "intercepted west of mainland Alaska were accompanied by two Russian SU-35 'Flanker' fighter jets," the statement reads, according to network. NORAD added that the "Russian aircraft remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian airspace."

Tuesday's incident comes just a week after a similar interception of Russian bombers south of the Aleutian Islands.

U.S. officials told CNN that the military sees these flights as routine and not a major risk to U.S. interests. The incident did occur, however, within the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends 200 miles off Alaska's coast.

A previous interception of bombers occurring on Sept. 1 involved bombers without any Russian fighter jet escorts, CNN noted.

Tuesday's incident also occurred amid Russian war games with China along the two countries' border, a massive effort involving thousands of Russian vehicles and personnel along with similar participation from Chinese forces.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday to strengthen his country's military in a statement to reporters at the war games.

“Russia is a peaceful nation,” Putin said Thursday, according to The Associated Press, before adding that it must "be ready to protect its sovereignty, security and national interests, and, if necessary, support our allies.”