Air Force intercepts Russian bombers near Alaska

US Air Force fighter jets intercepted four Russian warplanes that infiltrated Alaska’s Air Defense Zone on Thursday.

A formation of two Su-35 “Flanker” fighter jets escorting a couple of Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” bombers was met by two F-22 stealth fighter jets that were patrolling about 50 miles southwest of Chariot, Alaska, officials told Fox News.

It was the first time the US Air Force has seen the advanced Russian fighter jets escort Russian Cold War-era bombers near Alaska.

The jets were unarmed and remained in international airspace, officials told Fox News.

Late last month, Russian bombers flew near Alaska over four days for the first time since 2014.

The Russian incursion Thursday came a day after President Trump spoke over the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

White House officials said the leaders discussed crises in the Middle East and North Korea, with no mention of recent Russian provocations.

In April, Trump said US relations with Russia were at an “all-time low.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also described the relations as being at a “low point.”

But National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster painted a less pessimistic picture, telling “Fox News Sunday” that “I don’t think they have gotten either better or worse.”

The Tupolev Tu-95 propeller-driven strategic bombers came into service in the 1950s, gaining a reputation for their sheer size and deafening noise, according to the BBC.