Two Russian warplanes violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds: Turkey
A file picture taken on October 3, 2015 shows a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber taking off from the Hmeimim airbase in the Syrian province of Latakia. AFP Photo
Two Russian warplanes violated Turkish national airspace for 17 seconds, flying 1.36 miles into Turkish borders on Nov. 24, Turkey has reported in a letter to the United Nations Security Council. According to the letter, one plane left Turkish territory after multiple warnings, while the other was fired at and subsequently downed by Turkish F-16 jets after ignoring the repeated warnings.
Turkey’s Ambassador to the U.N. Halit Çevik sent the letter on Nov. 24 detailing the incident.
“Two SU-24 planes, the nationality of which was unknown [at the time], approached Turkish airspace at Yayladağı, in the Hatay region, and were warned 10 times during a period of 5 minutes via the ‘emergency’ channel and asked to change their headings to south immediately,” read the letter.
“Disregarding these warnings, both planes, at an attitude 19,000 feet, violated Turkish airspace to a depth of 1.36 miles and 1.15 miles for a length of 17 seconds from 09.24’.05” local time,” said the letter.
Following the violation, one fighter jet left Turkish national airspace, but the other plane, according to the letter, “was fired at while in Turkish national airspace by Turkish F-16s patrolling in that area in accordance with rules of engagement,” after which it crashed on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Nov. 24 called for urgent measures to de-escalate tensions after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter plane on the Syrian border.
Ban said a "credible and thorough review" of the incident would help clarify what happened and prevent a repeat.
"The secretary-general urges all relevant parties to take urgent measures with a view to de-escalate the tensions," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.