Turkey shot down an unidentified drone that flew into its airspace Friday near the Syrian border.
A U.S. official said the downed drone was Russian, but Moscow staunchly rejected the claim.
The incident underlined the potential dangers of clashes involving Russian, Syrian and U.S.-led coalition planes in the increasingly crowded skies over Syria Russian and U.S. military officials have been working on a set of rules to prevent any problems.
The Turkish military said it issued three warnings before shooting down the aircraft with its fighter jets. It didn’t specify how it had relayed the warnings to the operators of the drone.
The drone crashed 3 kilometers (about 2 miles) inside Turkish territory, said Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu.
We have not been able to establish who the drone belongs to, but we are able to work on it because it fell inside Turkish territory
Earlier this month, Turkey had protested two incursions by Russian warplanes, which also drew strong condemnation from Turkey’s NATO allies.
The U.S., Russia and the Syrian government all operate drones in the region.
Moscow strongly denied ownership of the drone.
I state with absolute responsibility that all our drones are either performing tasks or staying at the base,
said Col.-Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, a deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, speaking at a meeting with foreign military attaches in Moscow.