Tensions between the United States and Russia remain high this week, as evidenced by a frightening military encounter off the coast of Alaska last night.
The old Cold War foes have been at odds in recent months, due in no small part to the ongoing Syrian civil war, U.S. accusations against the Kremlin regarding the 2016 presidential election, and former President Barack Obama’s insulting dismissal of Russian ambassadors on his way out of office. Now, after multiple similar occurrences over the course of the last few weeks, Russian military aircraft were intercepted by the United States’ Air Forecast night as they approached Alaska.
“Two Russian Bear bombers — escorted for the first time by a pair of Su-35 ‘Flanker’ fighter jets — entered Alaska’s Air Defense Zone early Thursday morning, U.S. officials told Fox News.
“The Russian formation was intercepted by a pair of U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets that were already flying a patrol about 50 miles southwest of Chariot, Alaska. A NORAD spokesperson told Fox News the intercept began at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
“It was the first time the U.S. Air Force has seen advanced Russian Su-35 fighter jets escort Russian Cold War-era bombers near Alaska.
“The Russian fighter jets were unarmed and remained in international airspace, officials said.
“Late last month, Russian bombers flew near Alaska over four consecutive days for the first time since 2014.
“Thursday’s episode comes one day after President Trump spoke over the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House said the conversation focused on crises in the Middle East and North Korea, with no mention of recent Russian provocations.”
While the phone call between the two world leaders was considered to have been a positive one, this escalation of military aggression off the coast of the United States was surely meant to provoke President Donald Trump.
The Bear Bombers themselves are some of Russia’s most effective nuclear-capable bombers – a message that was certainly not lost on the U.S. military. As Russia and the United States continue to jockey for position both in Syria and in the emerging conflict with North Korea, it seems that the Kremlin’s famed double-speak is back in action.