Pentagon calls on Russia to respect Turkey’s airspace

US Department of Defense spokesman says Russia should respect Turkey’s airspace

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The Pentagon.

The US called on Russia to respect Turkey’s airspace late on Saturday following Turkish claims that a Russian warplane crossed its southern border.

“The United States joins NATO in standing in solidarity with Turkey and we call on Russia to respect Turkish airspace and cease activities that risk further heightening instability in the region,” Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said.

Earlier, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said that a Russian SU-34 fighter-bomber had been warne repeatedly  on Friday after it violated NATO member Turkey’s airspace.

The Turkish Air Force raised its alert levels on bases around the country following the incident, Turkish military sources said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry denied crossing into Turkish airspace.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also called on Russia to respect Turkish airspace.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that officials had contacted Russia to arrange a meeting with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to discuss the incident, but had yet to receive a response.

Russian jets have violated Turkish airspace several times since Moscow deployed military forces to Syria in late September.

On Nov. 24, Turkish F-16 fighters on aerial patrol intercepted and shot down a Russian SU-24, after it ignored warnings and crossed into Turkish airspace, leading to heightened tensions between Moscow and Ankara.

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