Published On: Sat, Apr 22nd, 2017

Russian jets spotted off Alaska coast 4th time in 4 days: US

Araweelo News Network

In this US Navy picture, a F-18 Hornet strike fighter intercepts a Russian Tu-95 Bear long rang bomber. (File photo by Getty Images)

Washington(ANN)-American Air Force officials say they have spotted Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace off the coast of Alaska for four times in as many days this week.

The most recent incidents occurred late Wednesday and on Thursday, according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The first flight involved two IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft and the second involved two Tu-95 nuclear-capable Bear bombers, which were flying around the north coast of Alaska and Canada, said a NORAD spokeswoman, Mary Ann Clemons on Friday.

An interaction, which according to a US military official was “safe and professional,” occurred on Monday, when a US F-22 fighter jet (pictured below) intercepted two Russian bombers in international airspace 100 miles from Kodiak Island, Alaska.

The incident was followed by another flight less than 24 hours later, when another US surveillance aircraft intercepted two Russian bombers in the same area.

Clemons confirmed that Russian bombers never entered US airspace, but US and Canadian jets were dispatched to intercept them during Thursday’s encounter.

The Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, which primarily surrounds the US and Canada, is a designated region of international airspace. The region is a buffer being used to allow for the identification of aircraft heading towards North America.

Thus the recent flights pose no real military threat to the US and “are carried out in strict compliance with international regulations and with respect to national borders,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a written statement.

However, flights of this nature that have not been conducted by Russia, since 2015, have raised concerns among American military officials. One US official told CNN that there is “no other way to interpret this other than as strategic messaging.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also reacted to the flights on Friday, saying that “we are aware of it. This is not highly unusual … but we monitor everything.”

John Cornelio, a NORAD spokesman said, “We haven’t seen this sort of level of activity for a couple of years,” but described them as not “unprecedented” or “unusual.”

The US itself has carried out similar flights along the Russian and Chinese coasts. It has also dispatched a strike group, including an aircraft carrier, to the Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. The deployment prompted Russia and China to dispatch intelligence gathering vessels, to chase the US naval task force away from the peninsula.

The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), foreground, transits the East China Sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106) on March 9, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Tensions between Washington and Moscow have also escalated over disagreements the two have had over the crisis in Syria. Their deeply rooted differences, has caused their relations to hit “an all time low,” this month, according to US President Donald Trump.

During his presidential campaign, Trump, who had been eager to improve relations with Moscow and expressed confidence that how well he and Russian President Vladimir Putin would get along, said last week that Washington is “not getting along with Russia at all.”

Putin also previously acknowledged that the ties between Washington and Moscow had “worsened.”

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: or Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 442 5380 /

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