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Pentagon says Russian jets intercepted U.S. Navy planes

The U.S. military announced Wednesday that Russian military jets intercepted three U.S. Navy aircrafts over the weekend in an “unprofessional” manner.

U.S. Navy Capt. Mike Kafka, director of Defense Press Operations, said the intercepts happened while the U.S. aircraft were in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.  Captain Kafka said in a statement: “We can confirm that over the course of last weekend, three U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft experienced unprofessional intercepts by Russian aircraft. We have made our concerns known to Russian officials through diplomatic channels. While no one was hurt, interactions such as these could result in miscalculations and mistakes that lead to more dangerous outcomes. The U.S. will continue to operate safely, professionally and consistent with international law in international waters and airspace. We expect Russia to do the same.”

The announcement comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over the Moscow’s buildup of troops along the Russian border with Ukraine. The United States and its NATO allies have warned Russia against invading Ukraine, threatening to levy sanctions and other punishments against Moscow. Russia has said it condemns any attempts by Ukraine to join NATO and wants the military alliance to withdraw its deployment to its pre-1997 positions.

Editorial credit: Phuong D. Nguyen /

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