The US military has intercepted a pair of Russian bombers flying off the coast of Alaska, a Pentagon official says amid escalating tension between Moscow and Washington over a recent US strike on Syria.
Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that two US Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft had intercepted the Russian TU-95 Bear bombers within 160 kilometers of Alaska’s Kodiak Island a day earlier.
The American stealth fighters escorted the Russian long-range bombers for 12 minutes before they reversed course and headed back to their base in eastern Russia, according to the official.
Ross said the intercept was “safe and professional,” and there was no violation of US airspace and any international norms.
The Pentagon spokesman noted that Russia’s TU-95s are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, but there was no indication that the planes were armed.