US Air Force F-22 Raptors sent a strong signal to a couple of Russian jets in the skies above Syria, passing in front of them and releasing flares.

A pair of U.S. Air Force stealth fighter jets intercepted two Russian attack jets in Syria, an area off-limits to Russian jets based on a long-standing mutual agreement, a U.S. defense official told Fox News on Thursday.

During the incident, both American F-22 jets fired flares after cutting across the front of the Russian jets, a tactic known as ‘head-butting,’ meant to send a strong warning to an opposing warplane.

Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon confirmed the 40-minute long incident to Fox News, adding that at one point a Russian attack jet flew close enough to an F-22 that it had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision.

“The Coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces,” Pahon told Fox News. – Fox News

Featured image by US Air Force