Russia once again violates Turkish airspace
A NATO statement had first revealed that Russian warplanes violated Turkish airspace for the second time on Oct. 4, following the first violation on Oct. 3, but Turkish officials had yet to confirm the NATO statement on the record.
“Russian military actions have reached a more dangerous level with the recent violations of Turkish airspace on 3 Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 by Russian Air Force SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft in the Hatay region. The aircraft in question entered Turkish airspace despite Turkish authorities’ clear, timely and repeated warnings,” NATO said on Oct. 5 following a meeting on Russia’s military action in and around Syria.
In accordance with NATO practice, Turkish fighter aircraft responded to these incursions by closing to identify the intruder, after which the Russian planes departed Turkish airspace, read the NATO statement.
NATO allies “strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace,” said the alliance, calling on the Russian side to take all necessary measures to ensure that further violations do not take place in the future.
Turkey, a NATO member with its second biggest army, scrambled two F-16 jets on Oct. 3 after a Russian aircraft crossed into its airspace over its southern province of Hatay.
The U.S. and its NATO allies denounced Russia for the Oct. 3 incursion and Ankara threatened to respond if provoked again, raising the prospect of direct confrontation between the Cold War enemies.
Security summit on airspace violation and PKK
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu chaired a security summit late on Oct. 5, at which the violations of Turkish airspace, the “terror threat from Iraq and Syria,” and operations carried out against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, were all discussed, a written statement said.
“Steps to be taken in the event of violations of the border region” were discussed at the meeting, the statement added.