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Obama, Hollande pledge solidarity to fight ISIS
00:52 - Source: CNN

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Hollande has said greater cooperation between the United States and Russia is required in battling ISIS

The White House signaled Monday that it already believes U.S. contributions to the anti-ISIS effort are sufficient

Washington CNN  — 

Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter plane shouldn’t lead to further wartime escalation in the region, President Barack Obama insisted at a press conference Tuesday.

But he maintained that Turkey had a right to defend its airspace and charged that Russian air activity near the Turkey-Syria border has contributed to the crisis.

“This points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations,” Obama said. “They are operating very close to a Turkish border, and they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey but a wide range of countries.”

Putin calls plane’s downing by Turkey ‘stab in the back’

Turkey said Tuesday it shot down the Russian plane with a missile strike after repeated warnings to the plane that it had flown over its territory.

Obama urged Russia and Turkey to communicate about the details of the operation in order to decrease the chance of escalation, a message the White House said Obama relayed in a later phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The downing of the Russian plane complicated Hollande’s visit to the White House, where he pressed Obama for greater global cooperation on battling ISIS, including with Moscow. Obama appeared resistant to forming any new alliances in battling ISIS, saying he’d already convened more than 60 nations in a bid to curb the group’s territorial gains in Iraq and Syria.

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Hollande has openly called for a greater international effort to push back ISIS, whose killing spree in Paris two weeks ago was the worst terror attack on French soil in more than half a century.

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He said Tuesday greater cooperation between the United States and Russia is required in battling ISIS, though persistent U.S. skepticism about Putin’s intentions in Syria have until now prevented any significant military coordination between the two countries.

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