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Obama, Erdogan to de-escalate Turkey-Russia tension

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Washington: US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked about the need to de-escalate the situation after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, the White House said.

According to a brief statement by the White House, Obama over phone on Tuesday expressed “US and NATO support for Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty,” Xinhua reported.

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

On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 crashed near the Turkish-Syrian border because of gunfire from the ground, Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed defence ministry official as saying.

According to Turkish military, the Su-24 was warned 10 times about its violation of Turkish airspace before two Turkish F-16 jets “interfered”.

The latest statement released by the Russian defence ministry said that the Su-24 was shot down by a Turkish F-16 jet while returning to Syria’s Hmeimim airbase, where a Russian air force group for anti-terrorist strikes is located.
IANS