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The United States intercepted two Russian Tu-95 bombers off the coast of Alaska Monday evening reported ABC News.
ABC News reports:
“According to a U.S. official, the intercept occurred 100 nautical miles south of Kodiak Island. The Russian aircraft were in international airspace throughout the encounter as American airspace extends 12 nautical miles from the U.S. shoreline.
However, NORTHCOM confirmed to ABC News that the Russian planes were in the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which stretches 200 miles out from shore. An Air Defense Identification Zone is airspace that is monitored in the interest of national security where aircraft are required to identify themselves.
Two F-22 fighter jets and one E-3 Sentry reconnaissance plane from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska intercepted the Russian bombers for a short time, then flew alongside the bombers as they turned away from the ADIZ, the official said.”
This is the first time in almost two years that Russian bombers have been intercepted by U.S fighters. The last time occurred in July 2015 off the coast of California according to CNN.
One GOP lawmaker said that the Russians were “trying to show their teeth” by flying near the United States.
“This was a show of force by the Russians to show us that they are still here,” Illnois GOP Representative Adam Kinzinger said. He added that it was “an attempt to come up as close as they could to our international borders to see what our reaction would be.”