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    Pentagon Tells About 'Professional' Russian Bombers' Flights Near Alaska

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    The flights of Russian strategic bombers near the US state of Alaska were all conducted in a safe and professional manner with deference toward US airspace, Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said in a briefing on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russian military aircraft were spotted flying near the Alaskan coast for the fourth time in four days, according to a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) spokesperson. The two most recent flights reportedly occurred Wednesday and Thursday, involving two Il-38 patrol aircraft and two Tu-95 Bear bombers.

    "There were a series of three bomber flights in and around Alaska over a period of four days," Davis told reporters.

    "They were all conducted safely, professionally and with respect for US territorial airspace."

    The first flight took place Monday night. The US responded by scrambling two F-22 jets and an E-3 Sentry early warning plane to intercept the Russian planes, which were flying about 161 km from Kodiak Island. However, the second time around, the USAF decided not to scramble fighter jets. In addition to US F-22 jets, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) also dispatched CF-18 jets to perform an interception on Thursday.

    Commenting on the Monday incident, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that two Tu-95MS bombers were escorted by US fighters near Alaska. The ministry pointed out that Russian jets regularly carry out patrol flights over the neutral waters of the Arctic region, Atlantic Ocean, Black Sea and Pacific Ocean.

    The White House commented on the Russian bombers' flights by saying that Washington is not concerned over them and that "this is not highly unusual."


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