Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on the Syrian border on Tuesday, causing international powers to plead for calm as tensions soared between the two rival players in the Syria war. Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Ankara as "accomplices of terrorists" while the Russian military announced it would cease all military contact with Turkey. Moscow said one of two pilots who ejected from the Su-24 plane was killed by gunfire from the ground as he descended, although Turkish officials insisted both were still alive.
France and the United States pledged to step up the fight against the Islamic State group, urging Russia to throw its weight behind global efforts to resolve the four-year Syrian conflict. President Francois Hollande met his US counterpart Barack Obama at the White House as Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane dealt a severe blow to efforts to coordinate the fight against IS. Speaking 11 days after jihadists killed 130 people in the French capital, Hollande urged an "implacable" joint response to crush the group in Syria and Iraq.