WWIII Trends on Twitter as Putin Reacts to Downed Warplane

APTOPIX Russia Jordan

World War III was trending on Twitter Tuesday as the world waited to see how Russia would respond to Turkey shooting down one of its warplanes.

Russian president Vladimir Putin slammed the incident as "stab in the back by terrorist helpers," as NATO held what it described as an "extraordinary meeting" Tuesday afternoon just hours after the incident, NBC News reported.

Russia denies its warplane was violating Turkish airspace, while Turkey — a NATO member — said it warned the aircraft 10 times before shooting it down.

But despite the heated rhetoric — and fears on social media — outright war is unlikely, according to analysis from IHS Janes Terrorism and Insurgency Center.

"The immediate implication of the shooting down of the aircraft is likely to remain limited to a diplomatic crisis," IHS Janes said. "However, future such incidents between Russia and Turkey are highly likely, as neither side is willing or able to back down."

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