Russian jet 'flies 5ft from' USA spy plane over Baltic Sea

Iran missile launch Map of region

"On June 19, a US Air Force RC-135 flying in the global air space over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 flanker", Davis told reporters.

Fox News was first to report the incident.

The pilot of the American aircraft determined that the Russian aircraft's actions were "unsafe" because of its "high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft".

Hernandez said the close encounter was unprovoked by the US aircraft and that it wasn't clear if there was any communication between the aircraft.

The incident comes amid rising tensions between the US and Russian Federation after the USA downed a Syrian jet on Sunday.

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The encounter, in global airspace over the Baltic Sea, came amid heightened tensions between the U.S., Russian Federation and the Syrian regime. The Pentagon and Russian Federation both said that interaction was carried out in a safe and professional manner.

However, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis denied the Russian accusation, saying "We were operating in worldwide airspace and did nothing to provoke this behavior". Before the aerial incident in the Baltics, U.S. Central Command said it had shot down an armed, unmanned aerial vehicle approaching forces in southern Syria, where the government considers the U.S. military presence illegal. "This is an exception, not the norm, but we were again operating in worldwide airspace and did nothing to provoke", Davis said.

The incident happened not long after Russian Federation said it would track U.S. and US-led coalition that flew over its combat-mission zones in Syria "as air targets" after a USA jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime fighter jet on Sunday. Despite protests from the Syrian government, which requested Russia's military backing in 2015, the US has set up an operations base to train and assist anti-government groups fighting ISIS.

From 1 to 16 June, the NATO annual BALTOPS exercise took place in the Baltic Sea, with the participation of military personnel from 14 countries: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States; Two partners of NATO, Finland and Sweden.

Those exercises have primarily taken place in the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and along Russia's border with several North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners.

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