US warplanes intercepted four Russian reconnaissance aircraft near Alaska on Saturday, US commanders said.
The Russian Tu-142’s came within 65 nautical miles south of Alaska’s Aleutian island chain and “loitered” in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) for eight hours.
But they stayed in international airspace and did not enter US or Canadian airspace, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said on Twitter.
An ADIZ is a perimeter within which air traffic is monitored by the air forces of one or more friendly countries so they have extra time to react to hostile action.
The US has established four of these zones but a dozen or so other countries have also set their own up.
This was the fourth time this month that US planes have intercepted Russian aircraft near Alaska.
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.
Meanwhile, rhe White House denied Saturday that President Donald Trump had been briefed on intelligence that reportedly showed Russia had offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants if they killed US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said “neither the President nor the Vice President were briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence,” which was first reported by The New York Times on Friday.
“This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of The New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter,” she added.
The report came as Trump seeks to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, and end America’s longest war.
The Taliban have denied the report, saying that homemade explosives account for most fatalities among US forces.
Russia has also denounced the report, with its embassy in Washington tweeting that the “baseless and anonymous accusations” in the Times story had “already led to direct threats to the life of employees” at its embassies in Washington and London.