Two Russian fighter jets and a military helicopter buzzed the U.S. Navy warship Donald Cook several times on Monday and Tuesday while it conducted a routine patrol in the Baltic Sea.
The jets flew "dangerously close" White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday, and a wake was created in the water. "This incident, as you won't be surprised to hear, is entirely inconsistent with the professional norms of militaries operating in proximity to each other in international waters and international airspace," Earnest added.
U.S. officials say the Su-24 fighter jets flew 11 close-range and low-altitude passes in a "simulated attack profile" on Tuesday, and ignored radio advisories in English and Russian. In a statement, U.S. European Command, which oversees military operations in the area, said it has "deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death." The Navy is reviewing the incidents. Catherine Garcia