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Ultimately the Russian bombers turned away and the European jets returned home. The Russian bombers did not appear to enter UK airspace.
The US military recently pulled together Valiant Shield 18, which assembled a formidable armada: the US's forward-deployed USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, 15 surface ships, and 160 aircraft — a force that China sorely lacks.
Putin backs off Russia’s threats against Israel, and calls Syria downing a Russian plane a ‘tragic’ accident
Russian President Vladimir Putin backed off Russian Defense Ministry threats to take "countermeasures" against Israel after Syrian air defenses shot down a Russian military plane over the Mediterranean.
The US Air Force set out to return to Cold War numbers by growing nearly 25% and taking on hundreds more planes to form an additional 74 squadrons. This is a crucial part of the US's pivot to counter Russia and China.
If a fight were to start during an intercept like the one this week, the Russian pilot would have the huge advantage of having the F-22 in sight. What's more, the Russian Su-35 can maneuver better than the F-22.
"Our ships can better weather storms of this magnitude when they are underway," said US Fleet Forces Commander Adm. Christopher Grady said in a release.
A Russian tank recently fell off its trailer after a parade — and these embarrassing videos show that’s happening a lot
All these tank fails raise an obvious questions: What's going on with the Russian military?
When the US strikes Syria, it picks locations unlikely to harm Russians, therefore preventing escalation between the world's greatest nuclear powers. But the strikes still send a message to Moscow, that the US won't be muscled out of Syria, and norms against chemical weapons use are worth upholding.
Exercises including strong US allies and F-35C stealth jet fighters no doubt raised eyebrows in Moscow and Beijing.
Even with Russian ships in the Mediterranean, the US, with its impressive airpower, could most likely land a few clean shots on noncritical targets and again embarrass Syria and Russia with a flashy display of missiles streaking across the sky, should Syria cross President Donald Trump's line.