U.S. in­ter­cepts two Rus­sian bombers

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION - — Alex Hor­ton

Two Rus­sian long-range bombers were in­ter­cepted off the coast of Alaska by a pair of F-22 Rap­tor fighter jets Fri­day, the mil­i­tary said.

The Tu-95 bombers were fly­ing in the Air De­fense Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Zone in the Ber­ing Sea north of the Aleu­tian Is­lands, where they were visu­ally iden­ti­fied and shad­owed by the U.S. jets at 10 a.m., said Navy Capt. Scott Miller, a North Amer­i­can Aero­space De­fense Com­mand spokesman.

The bombers did not en­ter North Amer­i­can sov­er­eign airspace, he said in a state­ment. Miller de­clined to say how close the bombers came to U.S. land. Fox News re­ported they flew as close as 55 miles off Alaska’s west coast.

The en­counter was the first of its kind in just over a year, Miller said. A sim­i­lar in­ci­dent oc­curred off Alaskan wa­ters in April 2017 in what of­fi­cials have de­scribed as rou­tine en­coun­ters where ter­ri­to­rial lines meet.

The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion zone ex­tends about 200 miles off the Alaskan coast and is mostly international airspace, Miller said.

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