DUBROVNIK, CROATIA (AP) — Two U.S. Air Force B-52 strategic bombers flew into the Croatian resort of Dubrovnik and three other NATO members in the region on Monday in a sign of support amid Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. I flew low over the
In addition to the Croatian walled tourist destination of Dubrovnik, the aircraft flew over government headquarters in Skopje, North Macedonia, Skanderbeg Square in downtown Albania’s capital Tirana, and Montenegro’s Adriatic coast.
The Balkans and Adriatic have recently witnessed an increase in military, intelligence and propaganda activity by Moscow, which views the region as an object of strategic interest because of its access to the Mediterranean Sea.
“The purpose of each flyover is to demonstrate the commitment and assurance of the United States to our NATO allies and partners located in southeastern Europe,” the Air Force said in a statement. You can enjoy the aircraft flying overhead.”
Crowds gathered in the squares of Skopje and Tirana, and tourists watched as huge bombers thundered overhead in Dubrovnik and Montenegro.
Despite strong opposition from Russia, North Macedonia was the last country to join NATO in 2020, while Montenegro joined in 2017.
North Macedonian Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Jovan Azmanovski told TV station Kanal 5 that the bomber flight was symbolic proof that “our skies are safe”.
“The people of North Macedonia were able to see two USAF B52 strategic bombers fly over Skopje. Our skies are safe and our[NATO]membership is more than meets the eye,” Azmanowski said.
In Tirana, Albanian Army Chief of Staff Arben Kingzi said: “We are witnessing strategic military demonstrations.”
“Our strategic partners are hand in hand with us. This is a message of solidarity,” he said in a crowded square.
Two B-52 Stratofortress aircraft are assigned to the 23rd Bombardment Squadron currently operating out of Fairford, RAF.
Since 2018, the United States has conducted more than 200 Bomber Task Force sorties with allies and partners.
Most recently, B-1B Lancer flew over the Nordic, Baltic and Black Sea regions in May, and patrol flights over North Macedonia in June. In June, Stratofortresses made a flight in the Arctic Ocean before participating in his BALTOPS, the largest annual exercise in the Baltic Sea.
In the Baltic Sea, the amphibious warship USS Kearsarge, the largest warship ever to visit Lithuania, was officially welcomed on Monday. The country borders fellow her NATO member Poland and Moscow’s ally Belarus.
The NATO air police mission in Lithuania reported on Monday that jets had been scrambled four times last week to identify and escort Russian fighter jets that violated international airspace rules.