Obama: US and NATO support Turkey’s right to defend itself

Obama says Turkey has right to defend its sovereignty over downing Russian warplane violating Turkish airspace

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Barack Obama speaks on the phone from the Oval office

The United States and NATO support Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty, the US President Barack Obama told to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Turkey shot down a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 fighter jet after it violated Turkish airspace in the Turkmen Mountain region which is located near Turkish border in northwestern Syria.

Obama and Erdogan had a phone call over the incident and agreed on the need of de-escalating tension with Russia, according to a statement by the White House.

"The leaders agreed on the importance of de-escalating the situation and pursuing arrangements to ensure that such incidents do not happen again," the statement read.

The downing of the fighter jet caused a tension between Turkey and Russia, as the Russian officials blamed Turkey shooting down its jet before entering Turkish airspace.

However, Turkish Armed Forces released radar map of the Russian warplane violating Turkish airspace, saying it had been warned 10 times to change its heading to the south, Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the relations between Russia and Turkey are at risk, saying the downing of the warplane will have “serious consequences.”

For Turkey’s part, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says it is Turkey's right and duty to respond if Turkish airspace is violated.

Turkey is the first NATO member state that had a direct contact -shoot down- with a Russian fighter jet in 66-year-old NATO history.

TRTWorld and agencies