October 23, 2016

US backs Turkey over downing of Russian jet

US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 24, 2015. (AFP photo)

President Barack Obama has expressed US support for Turkey after it shot down a Russian warplane near Syria-Turkey border, saying Ankara has the right to defend its airspace.

“Turkey, like every country, has a right to defend its territory and its airspace,” Obama said on Tuesday at the White House during joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande.

“It is important right now to make sure the Russians and Turks are talking to each other to figure out what happened” and “discourage any kind of escalation,” the US president said.

On Tuesday, NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, claiming the warplane had repeatedly violated its air space.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the jet had been attacked when it was 1 kilometer inside Syria.

He warned of “serious consequences” and called it a “stab in the back” administered by “the accomplices of terrorists.”

“We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today,” Putin said.

Russia has been conducting airstrikes on Daesh positions at the request of the Syrian government since September 30.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.-pressTV

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