Russian nuclear-capable bombers were intercepted and escorted by American fighter jets during a flight over neutral waters close to Alaska.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed to Reuters F-22 Raptor planes accompanied four Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS nuclear-capable bombers during some periods of their flight.
The ministry said the lengthy flight complied with international law.
It was the second time it’s happened since April when U.S. F-22 stealth fighters intercepted two Russian patrol planes flying near their territories.
The incident was also confirmed by the commander of NORAD, Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, to Fox News.
“We’re ready 24/7,” said Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the commander.
An American spy plane flying over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by two Russian military jets, with the U.S. military calling the incident “unsafe” and “unprofessional” on May 26. The interaction between the two Russian jets was “irresponsible” even though the planes were operating over international waters.
“We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety,” their statement concluded, adding that unsafe maneuvers “increase the potential for midair collisions.”
It was the third time in about a month that Russian planes have attempted to intercept U.S. military aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, the Navy noted.
“In all cases, the U.S. aircraft were operating in international airspace, consistent with international law, with due regard for safety of flight, and did not provoke this Russian activity,” according to the Navy’s statement.
The intercept comes as the U.S. military accused Russia of deploying fighter jets in Libya to support mercenaries operating in the country, which has a lengthy Mediterranean coast.
Last month, President Donald Trump announced the United States will leave the Open Skies Treaty, which was designed to reduce the risk of military errors that could lead to a war, saying that Russian violations prompted him to make the decision.
“There’s a chance we may make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together,” Trump added. “I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to pull out and they’re going to come back and want to make a deal.”