Turkey says Russian jet intercepted over airspace violation

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns Russian ambassador over airspace violation of Russian fighter jet in Turkey’s south

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Turkish F-16 fighter jets intercepted Russian jet that violated Turkish-Syrian border

Russian ambassador to Turkey was called and issued a firm warning regarding the Oct. 3 border violation of a Russian fighter jet in Turkey’s south while conducting air strikes in Syria.

Following the violation of the Russian jet, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that "whoever violates our airspace, our rules of engagement are clear."

He added that Russia told Turkey that the Russian jet’s violation of Turkish airspace was a "mistake."

Davutoglu warned that anything that violates Turkey’s rights would be intercepted.

"The Turkish armed forces are clearly instructed. Even if it's a flying bird, it will be intercepted," Davutoglu said.

By pointing that Russia's act had the "wrong attitude" Davutoglu said that the Syrian crisis is not a Turkey-Russia issue.

"The Syrian issue is not a Turkey-Russia crisis," he said.

"Our channels with Russia remains open," he said hoping that Moscow would give up on their "wrong attitudes."

Ashton Carter says US holds consultation with Turkey

During a conference in Spain, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said that the US held consultations with Turkey over Russia’s airspace violation.

A senior US defence official told AFP that Russia's violation of Turkish airspace over the Syrian border was probably deliberate.

"I don't believe that this was an accident," the US defence official said in Madrid, speaking on condition of anonymity, describing the incident as a violation of a NATO member's sovereignty.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday, “a Russian fighter jet violated Turkey’s airspace on October 3. Turkey’s two F-16 jets took off and intercepted it. Upon the mentioned violation, the Russian ambassador was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office and the breach was strongly protested.”

Following the interception by Turkish jets, the Russian jet was said to have left Turkey’s airspace.

The Ministry also said that the Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu, called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and reaffirmed Turkey’s stance on the matter.

According to the statement, the Russian jet violated the Turkish airspace south of Yayladagi/Hatay area at 12:08 pm (0908GMT) on Oct. 3.

“Turkey told the ambassador that Russia should highly refrain from a similar violation again and in opposite case, Russia would be accountable for any undesirable event,” the statement said.

It also stated that the Turkish foreign minister held phone conversations with the foreign ministers of the US, England, France and Italy, and the matter would be discussed with NATO Secretary General and foreign minister of Germany as well.

Turkish Foreign Minister to meet with NATO chief

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg will meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu on Monday to talk about the latest developments in Syria.

After Russia's violations, head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said that he was going to convene a meeting of the military alliance's ambassadors on Monday to discuss Russia's ''unacceptable violations.'' Turkey is one of NATO's 28-members.

"The meeting will focus on the events of the last weekend and the situation in Syria," a NATO official said, adding that the talks were called at Turkey's request.

British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond declared "Russian incursion of Turkish airspace will raise stakes what is already a high risk situation."

British Ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore said through his twitter account that Russian violation of Turkish-Syrian border is reckless and worrying.

TRTWorld and agencies