US intercepts Russian fighter jets over Syria

US intercepts Russian fighter jets over Syria
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U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian fighter jets on Thursday over Syria, according to multiple reports, signaling an escalation between Washington and Moscow over the war-torn nation. 

Two U.S. F-22 jets reportedly fired warning flares after two Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates River, which has been designated as a deconfliction line.

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The move is the latest in a series of incidents in which U.S. fighters have flown close to Russian warplanes over Syria. 

Russian and U.S. military officials agreed last month to fly on opposite sides of a 45-mile portion of the Euphrates River in an effort to prevent collisions in the busy airspace.   

U.S. commanders told The New York Times earlier this month, however, that the Russians have violated the agreement half a dozen times. 

Officials said the violations are part of an effort to test U.S. resolve in the region and to help the Syrian Army make territorial gains in the country's civil war. 

While the U.S. and Russia have expressed a shared interest in driving Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fighters out of Syria, the two powers are on opposite sides of Syria's civil war, with Moscow throwing its support behind Syrian President Bashar Assad and the U.S. supporting rebel fighters.