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.
Obama also warned Russia against any escalation.
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.