The North American Aerospace Defense Command has reported that Canadian and American fighter jets intercepted Russian war planes this week.
The news was reported by the Canadian Press, which said according to NORAD the planes “did not violate Canadian or U.S. airspace.”
According to NORAD spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, American fighter jets intercepted six Russian fighter jets and bombers on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, Canadian pilots intercepted two Russian bombers over Beaufort sea, which is north of the Northwest Territories.
|Russian Bomber similar to the one detected 55 miles off the coast of Alaska this week. Photo: ITAR-TASS|
The intercepts are nothing new, apparently. Jazdyk said Canadian and American jets have intercepted about 50 Russian jets over the last five years.
A U.S. official told CNN that the incidents had something to do with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's visits to Canada and the United States last week.
Tensions have been high between the United States and Russia due to the situation in Ukraine.
The top general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Saturday that the recent ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels is a "cease-fire in name only."
Rear Adm. Kirby, Pentagon Spokesperson went on record stating that the US and Russia often exchange in some "excursions" each year, usually about 10 per year. However, during times when tensions are high, Adm. Kirby stated "We take this action by Russia very seriously" and will be "talking to our Russian friends in the appropriate forum at the appropriate time" regarding the Bear Nuclear Bomber, the refueling jets and to MiG fighters that came uncomfortably close to the US airspace which is about 12 nautical miles off of Alaska in this instance.
NORAD is a joint airspace operations project between the US and Canada whose main responsibility is to detect incoming threats to both air space regions.
Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday.
Additionally, at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea.
In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada.Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.”In the past five years, jets under NORAD’s command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace.
So just more training missions by Russia, or is the Kremlin testing out US and UK response capabilities?
And if the US scrambles jets whenever Russian jets fly over international airspace, some 200 miles away from the coastline, how should Russia feel when US, pardon NATO, military jets do combat missions some 20 miles away from the Russian border from the Baltics all the way to Ukraine? Or perhaps the answer is irrelevant, because when it comes to “feeling threatened”, only one side of the rational response story matters.
SWEDEN ALSO NOT PLEASED WITH RUSSIA:
Sweden complained on Friday that Russian fighter planes had violated its airspace this week, summoning the Russian ambassador to the foreign ministry in Stockholm.
The Russian planes were said to have been in Swedish airspace, near the Baltic Sea island of Oland, on Wednesday for about 30 seconds. The combat jets, reported to have been Sukhoi Su-24s were detected initially by radar and left when a Swedish Gripen jet was sent to the area. http://www.dw.de/us-fighter-planes-intercept-russian-combat-jets-off-alaska-sweden-protests-violation/a-17936231