Netherlands' fighter jets confronted three Russian military aircraft closely outside Nato airspace and chased them out, according to reports. The air skirmish happened near Poland late on Monday, Reuters reported.
Two Dutch F-35 fighter jets were involved in the tussle with the Russian fighter jets. The Dutch ministry of defense said the Russian aircraft approached Poland from Kaliningrad, which is a Russian Baltic coast enclave situated between Poland and Lithuania.
"The then unknown aircraft approached the Polish NATO area of responsibility from Kaliningrad," the ministry said in a statement.
The Dutch defense ministry explained that the Russian aircraft were identified as an Ilyushin Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft and two Sukhoi Su-28 fighter aircraft. Russia's Ilyushin Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft are designated by Nato as Il-20M Coot-A, while Sukhoi Su-28 fighter aircraft are code-named Su-27 Flankers.
"After identification, it turned out to be three aircraft: a Russian IL-20M Coot-A that was escorted by two Su-27 Flankers. The Dutch F-35s escorted the formation from a distance and handed over the escort to NATO partners," the statement added.
The agency said the Russian defence ministry did not offer any comments on the development.
NATO Allies' Weapon Stocks Dwindle
Meanwhile, a Reuters report earlier said that Nato allies are likely to run out of weapons stockpile due to the war in Ukraine. A Nato official drew attention to an internal survey that showed those stockpile numbers have dwindled, the agency reported. "Those NATO [munitions targets] that we set, and each ally has a specific target, those were not being met for the most part [before the Ukraine war] ... I would be absolutely gobsmacked if the targets...were not increased," a Nato official said.
The supply crunch comes amid the western military bloc's continued efforts to arm Ukraine at a 'rate that doesn't match weapons production.'
"If Europe were to fight Russia, some countries would run out of ammunition in days," an unnamed European diplomat said, according to the report.