US Launches Stealth F-22 Warplanes to Lithuania against Russia

US Launches Stealth F-22 Warplanes to Lithuania against Russia
Wed Apr 27, 2016 23:06:58

The US Air Force has deployed two of its most advanced fighter jets to Lithuania, a Baltic state in northern Europe, in a show of force against Russia.

The US Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets landed in Lithuania on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after Russian jets made "simulated attack passes" near a US warship in the Baltic Sea, Reuters reported.

Earlier this week, two F-22 fighters landed in Romania, near the shores of the Black Sea and just a short leap from Russia.

And several F-22s were briefly deployed by the United States to Poland and Estonia last year.

The US warplanes in Lithuania made three low-flying passes with aerial acrobatics over the country’s Siauliai airbase before landing.

"Without singling out any neighbor, I would like to say that no one has any right to poke their noses into here," Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters.

"This is a demonstration that the United States is honoring its commitments and is ready to protect our region with all the most modern measures,” she added.

The Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – which were formerly ruled by the Soviet Union, joined the Western military alliance NATO and the European Union in 2004.

NATO plans to expand its military presence in Eastern Europe amid the conflict in Ukraine and has held numerous war games recently.

Last year, the US delivered over 100 pieces of heavy military equipment to the Baltic states to provide them with the ability to “deter” the perceived threat from Russia.

The Baltics also asked NATO to permanently deploy up to 5,000 troops as a deterrent, a request that is still under consideration.

Last week, the United States military reportedly conveyed its "displeasure" to the Russian military over recent incidents involving Russian fighter jets intercepting an American spyplane and flying very close to a US warship in international waters of the Baltic Sea.

Two Russian planes whooshed past the USS Donald Cook almost a dozen times, said American officials, including a Russian Su-24 jet that flew 30 feet (nine meters) above the US guided missile destroyer in what the Pentagon described as a "simulated attack profile."

One US military official called the events on April 11 and April 12 "one of the most aggressive acts in recent memory".

Meanwhile, a Russian aircraft flew close to a US Air Force reconnaissance plane and performed a barrel roll during the maneuver earlier this month, according to the Pentagon.

Moscow has called its actions appropriate given how close US forces were operating to Kaliningrad, a Russian territory in northern Europe, adding that it observed all required safety measures.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned the “simulated attack” on the USS Donald Cook, saying the US military would have been within its rights to shoot down the Russian aircraft.

"We condemn this kind of behavior," Kerry said. "It is reckless. It is provocative. It is dangerous. And under the rules of engagement, that could have been a shoot-down.”

Commenting on the strong US reaction to the Baltic Sea incident, American analyst Daniel Patrick Welch said the US government is an aspiring empire and “super predator” determined to control the world and destroy nations.

“The United States is constantly coming out with these arrogant statements, calling Russian moves provocative for buzzing a US ship [near Russian borders],” Welch told Press TV on April 15.

“The clear implication is that the US can do whatever it wants, wherever it wants and if anyone moves to push back or take a stance in defending their countries and their people, then they are in the wrong and they are the ones that are provocative,” he noted.

S/SH 11

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