It may just be a co-incidence (or it may be that these intrusions happen all the time but are only occasionally reported), but I fired up my Twitter client this morning, these entries were almost consecutive in my Military list:
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) September 19, 2014
Breaking: US F-22's intercepted 6 Russian warplanes off Alaska yesterday, US officials believe tied to #Ukraine presidential visit
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 19, 2014
— NATOSource (@NATOSource) September 19, 2014
Russian ambassador has just received a protest against the grave violation of Swedish airspace by Russian fighters-bombers on Wednesday.
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) September 19, 2014
Update: CNN talks to a White House military representative about the US and Canadian intercepts.
Two Alaskan-based F-22 fighter jets intercepted two Russian IL-78 refueling tankers, two Russian Mig-31 fighter jets and two Russian Bear long-range bombers, a statement from NORAD said. The Russian planes flew in a loop and returned toward Russia.
Two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two Russian Bear long-range bombers in the Beaufort Sea, the statement said.
Though the planes did not enter sovereign territory, the statement said, they did enter the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone west of Alaska and the Canadian ADIZ, according to a statement.
The ADIZ is a zone of airspace which extends approximately 200 miles from the coastline and is mainly within international airspace, according to the statement. The outer limits of the ADIZ go beyond U.S. sovereign air space.