Russian surveillance aircraft have entered Alaska’s air defense identification zone twice this week, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
“On two separate occasions, over the past 2 days, the Alaskan NORAD Region detected, tracked and identified Russian surveillance aircraft entering and operating within the Alaskan ADIZ,” NORAD announced in a Tuesday post on Twitter.
“The Russian aircraft did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace,” it said.
On two separate occasions, over the past 2 days, the Alaskan NORAD Region detected, tracked and identified Russian surveillance aircraft entering and operating within the Alaskan ADIZ. The Russian aircraft did not enter American or Canadian sovereign airspace. #WeHaveTheWatch
— North American Aerospace Defense Command (@NORADCommand) August 10, 2022
Air defense identification zones are parts of a country’s airspace and surrounding waters and areas where an overflying plane might be requested to state its intentions.
Entering an ADIZ does not necessarily mean the aircraft has violated the airspace of a country — as in the case of Russian airplane incursions this week. An ADIZ also can include territory adjacent to a nation’s sovereign territory and waters.
“We remain ready to employ a number of response options in defense of North America and Arctic sovereignty,” NORAD said in a statement posted to Facebook.
ADIZ incursions often have been used by countries such as Russia and China as demonstrations of force — ones that are short of direct violations of airspace that could provoke conflict, according to NBC News.
In recent weeks, China has carried out such incursions into Taiwan’s ADIZ to express opposition to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island country on Aug. 3.
The most recent incursion occurred Wednesday as nine SU-30 jets and eight J-11 jets flew into the zone, as reported by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.
17 of the detected aircraft (SU-30*9 and J-11*8) had flown on the east part of the median line of the Taiwan Strait, flight paths as illustrated. Please check our official website for more information: https://t.co/ZtZaMbGo8r
— 國防部 Ministry of National Defense, R.O.C. (@MoNDefense) August 10, 2022
The Russian incursions this week come as tensions between Moscow and Washington remain high over U.S. weapon supplies to Ukraine, which have helped the Eastern European country fight Russia’s large-scale invasion.
On Monday, the Department of Defense pledged another security package for Ukraine amounting to $1 million.
“Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) announces the authorization of a Presidential Drawdown of security assistance valued at up to $1 billion to meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs,” acting Pentagon press secretary Todd Breasseale said in a statement.
“This authorization is the Biden Administration’s eighteenth drawdown of equipment from DoD inventories for Ukraine since August 2021,” Breasseale said.
The package included more “ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS),” “75,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition” and “1,000 Javelin and hundreds of AT4 anti-armor systems.”
Russian officials have long warned the U.S. about its involvement in the Ukraine war and its decision to arm Ukraine.
“If God forbid, Americans deliver missiles that can travel 300 kilometers [186 miles], then we simply can’t stop,” TV host Olga Skabeyeva said last month on Russian state media, according to Newsweek. “We’ll go all the way to Warsaw.”
In a June interview, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to “strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting” in response to the West supplying arms to Ukraine, Reuters reported.
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