Russian attack jets flew close to a US Navy destroyer numerous times in the Baltic Sea this week, according to Pentagon officials, continuing a pattern of behaviour in the region that the Defence Department has previously decried.
The USS Donald Cook faced the Su-24 jets on Tuesday and yesterday, said the officials. The Navy collected images of what occurred and intends to declassify them and release them, one official said. The planes were not armed.
The US European Command @US_EUCOM later released a video of a flypass yesterday:
The incident occurred as Washington and Moscow continue to clash on how to handle military operations in Syria and Ukraine. Army Colonel Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US military campaign in Iraq and Syria, told reporters in a briefing from Baghdad that he heard "the Russians are up to their old tricks again" in the European region, but did not provide additional details.
The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The USS Donald Cook had recently made a stop in the Polish port of Gdynia, according to a statement by the US Embassy in Poland. The ship is one of four that the Navy sent forward to Europe from the United States to boost security in Europe, and carries an arsenal that includes rocket launchers, anti-submarine missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Russian planes have buzzed numerous ships over the past two years in the region, including the Donald Cook in the Black Sea in 2014.