One of the world’s most volatile regions was roiled further Tuesday when Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey said it hit the plane after it repeatedly violated Turkey’s airspace and ignored 10 warnings.
Turkey and Russia exchanged bellicose language after the downing of the plane, raising fears in the international community that the brutal Syrian conflict could spiral into something much wider.
The Russian plane was warned numerous times beforehand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.
There was no ISIS presence along that border area, but there were Turkmen there, Erdogan said. So anyone who bombs that area attacks “our brothers and sisters — Turkmen,” Erdogan said in Ankara. (Turkmen are a Turkic-speaking, traditionally nomadic people who live primarily in Central Asia, but a small minority of them can be found in the Middle East, primarily in northern Iraq, Iran and Turkey.)