Anadolu Agency quotes Vice President and Rafik Hariri Center Director Francis Ricciardone and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center Director John Herbst on the validity of Turkey’s actions in shooting down a Russian jet that violated its airspace:

“I don’t pretend to be an international lawyer, but Turkey’s case seems crystal clear to me,” Francis Ricciardone told Anadolu Agency. “It published its rules of engagement as it warned several years ago against intrusion from Syria on its national airspace,” said the former ambassador to Turkey who served from 2011 to 2014.

He said Turkish authorities repeatedly warned against intruding pilots following the establishment of new rules of engagement in 2012 after a Syrian missile downed a Turkish jet.


International law recognizes a nation’s right to protect its airspace against foreign incursions, according to former ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst. He told Anadolu Agency that Turkey’s version of events is corroborated by NATO.

“Turkey sent numerous warnings before shooting. That suggests that Turkey was fully in its rights in this incident,” said Herbst.

Noting Russian claims that its plane did not violate Turkish airspace, Herbst added: “To ‘prove’ this, the Ministry [of Defense of Russia] provided maps and radar date. Unfortunately for Moscow, bellingcat – social media experts in Great Britain, report that the radar data and map are mutually inconsistent. So Moscow’s evidence proves nothing.”

He suggested that Turkey should call for a UN inquiry into the incident.

Read the full article here.

Related Experts: Francis J. Ricciardone and John E. Herbst