World awaits Russia's response after Turks show of force

Turkey and Russia are putting competing narratives before the world.

Turkey says it was defending its sovereignty this morning after its airspace was violated.

Turkish F-16s, it says, only engaged the Russian jet after repeated warnings had been issued.

President Putin says meanwhile that his aircraft was brought down inside Syrian airspace by the ‘accomplices of terrorists’.

There is an extent to which this kind of incident was inevitable, given the number of countries which are now intervening in the skies above and around Syria.

But it is still surprising because there are procedures the various militaries follow to avoid exactly this kind of incident – lines of communication commanders can use to let their opposite numbers know if something has gone wrong, and thereby avoid an unwanted escalation.

Putin: Downing of Russian warplane a 'stab in the back'. Credit: PA

But after months of Russian bombing in Syria, this was a show of force by the Turks.

Ankara has consistently warned Moscow to stop attacking areas near its borders which are home to Turkmen communities.

Now it has brought down some Russian hardware in exactly the place it's keen to defend.

PM Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey had a right to respond if its airspace is violated despite repeated warnings Credit: Reuters

The world waits for Moscow’s response, because for the first time in a long time, it has come up against a serious military power, which is prepared to take it on.