The US military was not involved in the Turkish downing of a Russian fighter jet along the Syrian border Tuesday, a US defense official said.
“Our Turkish allies informed us that their military aircraft shot down a Russian military aircraft near the Syrian border after it violated Turkish airspace on Tuesday,” the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“At this time, we can confirm that US forces were not involved in this incident.”
The United States has a strong presence in Turkey and regularly flies warplanes out of the air base in Incirlik as it conducts bombing runs against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.
Pentagon officials have previously condemned the actions and tactics of Russian pilots after Russian jets violated Turkish airspace last month.
In Tuesday’s incident, the Turkish army said the plane was shot down by two Turkish F-16s after violating Turkish airspace 10 times within a five-minute period.
Russia insists the jet was inside Syrian airspace and condemned the downing as “a very serious incident.”