ALASKA – Two Russian bombers escorted by Su-35 “Flanker” fighter jets entered the Alaskan Air Defense Zone Thursday morning, Fox News reported.
US Air Force Stealth aircraft reportedly intercepted the Russian formation during a patrol.
This is the first time that the advanced Russian jets have escorted Russian bombers near Alaska.
Officials reported that the Russian jets remained in international airspace and were unarmed.
These zone tend to extend into international airspace.
The Cold War-era concept of the Air Defense Zone regards an area publicly-defined beyond sovereign territory in which it is permitted to interrogate and, if necessary, intercept unidentified aircraft.
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.
The conversation was described in a readout as “a very good one.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was not as pessimistic, however, telling “Fox News Sunday” that “I don’t think they have gotten either better or worse.”