Pentagon calls on Russia to respect Turkish airspace
WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
In this Oct. 22, 2015 file photo, a Russian Su-24 takes off on a combat mission at Hemeimeem airbase in Syria. AP PhotoThe U.S. called on Russia to respect Turkey’s airspace late on Jan. 30, following Turkish claims that a Russian warplane had 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, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said a Russian SU-34 fighter-bomber had been repeatedly warned on Friday after it violated NATO member Turkey’s airspace.
The Turkish Air Force raised the 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.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said 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 tension between Moscow and Ankara.