U.S. pilots operating over Syria won’t hesitate to defend themselves from Russian threats, a Pentagon spokesperson said Monday in the latest escalation between the two superpowers since a U.S. jet shot down a Syrian aircraft on Sunday. “We do not seek conflict with any party in Syria other than ISIS, but we will not hesitate to defend ourselves or our partners if

threatened,” Capt. Jeff Davis told Fox News. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford doubled down on that rhetoric during a Monday speech at the National Press Club. “I’m confident that we are still communicating between our operations center and the Russia Federation operations center — and I’m also confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves,” Dunford said. READ MORE