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Turkish, US presidents discuss downing of Russian warplane by Turkey

November 25, 2015, 3:17 UTC+3 ANKARA
US and NATO "support the right of Turkey to defend its national sovereignty", Barack Obama said
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The Turkish and US presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama

The Turkish and US presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ANKARA, November 25. /TASS/. The Turkish and US presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Barack Obama, had a telephone to discuss the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, the Office of the Turkish President reported on Wednesday.

It quoted the US president as saying the US and NATO "support the right of Turkey to defend its national sovereignty". It also said the two president had confirmed concurrence of opinions as to the necessity of taking measures to prevent further incidents and the importance of easing of tensions.

The office also said the two presidents had confirmed determination in joint fight against Islamic State and in ensuring a political transition period in Syria.

A Russian Su-24 warplane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet when it was at an altitude of 6,000 meters at a distance on one kilometer from the Turkish border. The Defense Ministry said the jet had been downed when it was returning to the Hmeymim airbase.

"Objective control data analysis unambiguously showed that there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace," the ministry said. However, Turkey’s General Staff claims that the Turkish fighter jet shot down a plane that violated the country’s airspace. NATO has supported Turkey, saying it has the right to protect its territory, but urged all necessary moves to avoid confrontation over the accident.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the downed Su-24 was no threat to Turkey as it was on a mission to bomb Islamic State targets. The Russian president warned that attack on the Russian warplane would have "serious consequences" for the Russian-Turkish relations.

Russia’s Aerospace Forces started delivering pinpoint strikes in Syria at facilities of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations, which are banned in Russia, on September 30, 2015, at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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