Two nuclear-capable Russian bombers were detected near Alaska Monday evening, reaching as close as 100 miles from Kodiak Island.
According to Fox News, the Tu-95 strategic bombers first appeared 280 miles southwest of the Elmendorf Air Force Base, inside the US Air Defense Identification Zone.
The U.S. Air Force scrambled two F-22 stealth fighter jets and an E-3 early warning plane to intercept the Russian aircraft.
Reportedly, the Tu-95 bombers headed back towards Russia after American jets flew alongside them for 12 minutes.
The incident is said to be the first time Russia has sent bombers that close to the U.S. since President Donald Trump took office.
A similar incident occurred on July 4, 2015 when two Russian bombers came as close as 40 miles from California.
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have become further strained following U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian government air base reportedly linked to a chemical weapons attack.
Last week during a White House press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump asserted that U.S.-Russia relations “may be at an all-time low.”
“Right now, we’re not getting along with Russia at all, we may be at an all-time low,” Trump said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has similarly described relations as at a “low point,” signaled attempts to restore trust between the two countries during a recent trip to Moscow.
“We need to attempt to put an end to this steady degradation, which is doing nothing to restore the trust between our two countries or to make progress on the issues of the greatest importance to both of us,” Tillerson said.
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