US, Russia Intercept One Another’s Planes in Overflights

US Navy says intercepting American spy plane was 'unsafe'

Tensions are again on the rise between Russia and the United States, as each nation reported intercepting the other nation’s warplanes violating their airspace. The two sides both defended their respective interceptions.

NATO planes intercepted two Russian jets in the Baltic Sea, operating in international waters but overflying the USS Donald Cook, a US destroyer. NATO lionized this interception as a huge accomplishment showing that they “remain ready, vigilant, and prepared.

Meanwhile, a Russian Su-35 intercepted a US Navy spy plane off the coast of Syria. Russia reported that the spy plane was operating around Russian air bases in Syria, and the plane intercepted it twice. The US Navy complained it was “unsafe” to intercept their spy plane amid its apparent spying.

Russia said they detected the US plane heading for their airbase and scrambled the Su-35 to “escort” it outside of the base’s airspace. Russia says what they did was in accordance with international law.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.