Earlier today, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane after repeated warnings.

According to the Turkish military, officials warned “an unidentified aircraft” ten times over the course of five minutes that its path would violate Turkish airspace over the border town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province. A spokesman for U.S. officials leading the coalition from Baghdad confirmed that his team heard Turkish officials give those warnings over “open channels.”

NATO called an emergency meeting today to address rapidly escalating tensions between Turkey and Russia, where Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stood in solidarity with Turkey.

According to The Telegraph, Obama spoke with the Turkish president who’s said they’re working to avoid any repeats of todays events:

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, has spoken to Barack Obama by telephone. The Turkish presidency said: “They were in accord on the importance of de-escalating tensions and making arrangements to prevent a repeat of such incidents.”

They also expressed their commitment to a bringing about a transitional political process for peace in Syria and joint determination to continue the fight against Isil, the statement added.

Shortly after news of the skirmish broke, Senator Rubio joined Fox News and was asked how the U.S. should respond. Rubio explained that if Turkey finds itself threatened by Russia, the U.S. must respond and defend the Turks.

Rubio spoke to this issue in one of the first presidential debates.

Rubio said:

It’s pretty straightforward: He wants to reposition Russia once again as a geopolitical force. He himself said that the fall of the Soviet Union, the destruction of the Soviet Union, was the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. And now he’s trying to reverse that. . . . He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East.

Here’s what you’re going to see in the next few weeks: The Russians will begin to fly combat missions in that region — not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad.

Here’s to hoping we don’t find ourselves in a situation where we have to decide whether or not to intervene on behalf of the Turks.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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