Sen. Marco Rubio says the United States needs to signal strong support for Turkey after that country shot down a Russian jet fighter it says was in its airspace.
In an interview on Fox News this morning, Rubio reminded the audience that Turkey was a NATO ally and must be defended.
“It’s important for us to be very clear that we will respond and defend Turkey if they come under assault from the Russians,” he said. “Otherwise the entire NATO alliance comes into question.”
A strong signal of support, Rubio stated, would stop the Russians from testing the alliance. He added that he fully expected an international incident such as this one as a consequence of Russia conducting military operations in the Middle East.
“My sense is that the Russians would not test it, they do not have the capabilities to confront the NATO alliance particularly the United States or even the Turks for that matter,” he said.
Rubio added that although he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin a “gangster,” he believed the Russians would not test the NATO alliance.
“He’ll have to do something to save face, but ultimately he is not going to test the alliance if he believes the alliance is going to stand up to him, because he’ll lose in that confrontation and that would be an even bigger setback for him,” Rubio said.