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 Obama: Turkey has the right to defend its territory and its airspace, like any country

The U.S. president charged that Russian air activity near the Turkey-Syria border has contributed to the crisis.

Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter plane shouldn't lead to further wartime escalation in the region, President Barack Obama insisted at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Tuesday, Censor.NET reports citing CNN.

Obama maintained that Turkey had a right to defend its airspace and charged that Russian air activity near the Turkey-Syria border has contributed to the crisis.

Read more: Turkey had exercised its "international right and national duty" by downing warplane, Turkish PM Davutoglu says

Saying he expected to speak with Turkish President Erdoğan in the coming days to discuss the incident, Obama urged Russia and Turkey to communicate about the details of the operation in order to decrease the chance of escalation.

"This points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations," Obama said. "They are operating very close to a Turkish border, and they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey but a wide range of countries."

He also said Russia had to pledge to target ISIS terrorists instead of moderate Syrian forces opposed to the government of Bashar al-Assad, a requirement Obama also insisted upon during Tuesday's press conference.

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