North Atlantic Treaty Organisation warns Russian Federation over ‘unacceptable’ Turkey airspace violations
Russian Federation admitted to the first incursion Saturday, but said it intruded “by mistake” and assured Ankara it wouldn’t happen again, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised interview.
The Russian fighter plane “exited Turkish airspace into Syria” after being intercepted, the ministry said.
The same message was also relayed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by his Turkish counterpart Feridun Sinirlioglu in a telephone conversation, AP says.
Turkey has labelled Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria as “unacceptable” with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warning that Moscow was making a “grave mistake”. “Necessary steps would be taken against whoever violates Turkey’s borders, even if it’s a bird,” he said on HaberTurk TV.
Since July, Turkish warplanes have been targeting the Islamist organization inside Syria, while US jets and drones are flying missions from bases in southern Turkey, aiming to clear a swath of land between Aleppo and Turkey to set up what USA officials have described as an ISIS-free, rebel-held area.
Previously, the head of the Russian presidential administration, Sergei Ivanov told reporters that the decision concerns Syria and the matter rests exclusively in an operation of the air forces.
The bloc, long critical of what it sees as Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism, is now looking to Turkey’s most popular politician to help solve its worst migration crisis since the break-up of former Yugoslavia.
He said his Turkish counterpart called him about the incident on Saturday, which Kerry discussed with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Susan Rice, the White House national security adviser.
The Russian embassy on Monday admitted that “such an incident took place”, according to the Interfax news agency.
Turkey after military jets from the two countries on opposing sides of the Syrian civil war faced off and the government in Ankara warned it would protect its airspace at any cost.
The strikes have been criticised by opposition backers like the United States, which leads a coalition already carrying out raids against IS in Syria.
Moscow’s unexpected move last week to launch air strikes in Syria has brought the greatest threat of an accidental clash between Russian and Western forces since the Cold War.
He said IS might have destroyed the celebrated arch as an attempt to recapture global attention after the Russian air strikes.
There, diplomats say, the focus will be on how to better manage the flows of migrants fleeing fighting and the brutality of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. In a brief statement, the military said the incident occurred while 10 F-16s were patrolling the Turkish-Syrian border. Turkey has indirectly been involved in the conflict, with as many as 2 million Syrian refugees entering the country.