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US fighter jets again intercept Russian military aircraft near Alaska

US fighter jets, like this one pictured, intercept Russian military aircraft near Alaska again. By Ryan Browne, CNN

(CNN) -- US F-22 fighter jets intercepted two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone late Wednesday, NORAD said in a statement.

"North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22s, supported by a KC-135 Stratotanker, intercepted two Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone in the late hours of June 24," Thursday's statement said.

"The Russian aircraft came within 50 miles of Unimak Island along the Aleutian island chain," the statement added, saying the Russian aircraft "remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace."

Wednesday's intercept follows similar encounters earlier this month in which US F-22 jets intercepted Russian nuclear-capable bombers near Alaska on two separate occasions.

In March, US and Canadian fighter jets intercepted two Russian reconnaissance aircraft while they were flying off the Alaskan coast. There were also multiple intercepts involving Russian military aircraft off the coast of Alaska in 2019.

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