Fourth time this month: US intercepts Russian warplanes off Alaska

Tupolev TU-142       Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

Tupolev TU-142 Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

The New York Times reported Friday that us intelligence concluded months ago a Russian military intelligence unit offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops operating in Afghanistan.

US F-22 stealth fighter aircraft have scrambled to intercept four Russian reconnaissance jets off Alaska, NORAD, the USA and Canadian defence organisation says. Most have occurred in the past month. He added that the Russians remained in worldwide airspace and at no time entered the sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.

The planes were heading toward Russian Federation, according to the statement, but "immediately changed ... direction" after the intercept.

Saturday's intercept follows similar encounters earlier this month in which US F-22 jets intercepted Russian nuclear-capable bombers near Alaska on three separate occasions.

Once intercepted, the U.S. aircraft changed direction, said the defense ministry, while the Su-30 returned to the base. O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said in a statement.

USA and Russian relations could be escalating. The last previous one was Wednesday when US F-22 fighter jets intercepted two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft entering the Alaskan Zone late Wednesday.

On May 29, the Russian defense ministry published images of two US B-1 bombers intercepted by Russia after flying over the Baltic and Black seas near Russia.

According to the defense ministry, the Aerospace Force detected a R-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft, an RC-135 strategic reconnaissance jet and a KC-135 refueling plane over the Black Sea on Friday.

The U.S. planes were in global airspace "at a considerable distance from the state border of the Russian Federation" when they were intercepted by an Su-30 from Russia's Southern Military District, the defense ministry said in a statement that accompanied a video shot by the Russian air crew, Stars and Stripes reported.

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