“Turkey+about+Turkish+Airspace+Violation%2C+PM+Davutoglu+Says” Russian Federation confirmed the first violation, saying it was due to poor weather conditions and vowed to take the necessary steps to avoid the repetition of similar incidents in the future.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says he doesn’t believe Russia’s claims that its violation of Turkish airspace over the weekend was an accident and is promising to respond.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Russian Federation carried out at least 34 air strikes in Palmyra and its vicinity, killing 15 ISIL militants.
But Erdogan warned that Russian Federation risked losing Turkey as a friend if its behaviour continued.
Following Russia’s unexpected move to launch air strikes in Syria last week, Jens Stoltenberg said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation also had reports of a substantial Russian military build-up there, including ground troops and ships in the eastern Mediterranean.
Referring to the air incursions over Turkey’s border with Syria, he said: “I will not speculate on the motives… but this does not look like an accident and we have seen two of them”.
Russian jets struck 10 Islamic State targets in Syria on Tuesday, the defence ministry said, as Moscow ramped up its aerial campaign with bombardments that for the first time targeted the Damascus area.
USA and Russian officials met once by video conference late last week, before the incursion into the airspace of Turkey, which borders Syria.
Stoltenberg said the US-led alliance had not received “any real explanation” from Russian Federation about the incursions. “And that may be a further sign of their strategic confusion, I don’t know,” he said.
The Russian jets destroyed an Islamic State army munitions plant outside Damascus as well as two command centers in Deir ez-Zor, according to the ministry’s statement. “And so, is a serious strategic mistake on the part of the Russians,” he said.
Syrian opposition groups, however, say Russia’s military involvement is aimed not at crippling Daesh but at propping up the embattled Assad regime.
Moreover, taking advantage of the instability in Syria and Iraq, such terrorist organizations as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian wing – Democratic Union Party (PYD) – want to achieve their own goals, he added.
Israel has said it holds the Syrian government responsible for any spillover of violence from the four-year civil war there.
The U.S. Secretary of States said he intensified diplomatic discussions after the incident to make sure that there would be no accidental conflict between Russian and coalition aircraft over Syria.
Though The New York Times reported Monday that the U.S.-led coalition has “begun preparing to open a major front in northeastern Syria”, aiming to put pressure on Raqqa, which is controlled by the Islamic State.