- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2020

American F-22 fighter jets intercepted Russian nuclear-capable bombers near Alaska on Wednesday, Russian media said, marking another in a series of close aerial encounters between the two nations.

The U.S. fighters reportedly intercepted and escorted Russian Tu-95MS planes in the waters off Alaska’s coast. The Pentagon has not commented on the incident.

“Four strategic Tu-95MS missile carriers of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ long-range aviation conducted a planned flight over the neutral waters of the Chukchi Sea, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, and the northern part of the Pacific Ocean ,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, according to Russia’s Sputnik News. “At certain stages of the flight, the Russian planes were escorted by US Air Force F-22 fighters.”

The Russian flight lasted about 11 hours, Moscow said.

U.S. and Russian aircraft have been involved in a host of close encounters in recent months. Just two weeks ago, Russian fighter jets buzzed U.S. Navy aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea in what Pentagon officials described as “unsafe and unprofessional” actions.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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