A Saturday incident in which Russian warplanes made a pair of incursions into Turkish airspace during the course of airstrikes against ISIS targets in northern Syria has fueled an angry condemnation from the US and NATO, which held an emergency meeting today warning of “extreme danger” from such an occurrence.
The Russian Defense Ministry sought to downplay the incident, saying the crossover was brief, lasting only a few seconds, and was an accident related to changing weather conditions in the area along the border. A spokesman accused those seeing a bigger problem as looking for “conspiracy theories.”
US officials insisted they don’t believe that it was an accident at all, and Turkey suggested they could respond by attacking any future Russian warplanes that cross the border, and shoot them down. They went on to insist that it would be Russia’s fault if any “undesired incident” occurs to their planes.
Russia began airstrikes against ISIS targets last week, fueling condemnation from US officials. US officials have insisted that Russian strikes threaten to further escalate the Syrian Civil War, and are ruling out coordination with the Russians when they conduct their own airstrikes.
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