US Says Russian Jet Violated Turkish Airspace

PHOTO:This video frame grab shows a Russian warplane on fire before crashing on a hill as seen from Hatay province, Turkey, Nov. 24, 2015. AP Photo
This video frame grab shows a Russian warplane on fire before crashing on a hill as seen from Hatay province, Turkey, Nov. 24, 2015.

The State Department said today that the United States believes that a Russian jet that was shot down had violated Turkish air space.

"The available information, including evidence from Turkey and our own sources, indicates the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace," State Department Spokesman Elizabeth Trudeau said today. "We also know that the Turks warned the Russian pilots multiple times before the airspace violation to which the Turks received no response."

That statement marked the first time the U.S. has directly acknowledged the Russian jet had crossed into Turkish territory.

But while the U.S. has acknowledged that Turkey has the right to defend itself, Trudeau called on both sides to "de-escalate." She was also careful in her language, refusing to directly answer questions about whether Turkey was justified in its actions or if it had used proportional force.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded angrily to the attack, which left one pilot and a member of the rescue team dead. He has called for sanctions on Turkey, and today Russia instituted a ban on food imports.

Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, meaning the U.S. has an obligation to defend it in a military conflict.