Russia thinks Turkish jet 'violated Syria airspace': report
MOSCOW - Agence France- Presse
Russian President Vladimir Putin (3rd L) and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) sit next to Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (2nd L) during an unveiling ceremony for a monument commemorating the victory of the Soviet Red Army in World War Two in the coastal city of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv June 25, 2012. REUTERS PhotoRussia believes it has exact positional data to prove that a Turkish air force jet shot down by Syria last month violated Syrian airspace, contrary to claims by Ankara, a report said Monday.
The Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed Russian military source as saying that the Turkish jet had "unambiguously" entered Syrian airspace and Moscow had the details of its entire route.
"We have data on the exact position of the Turkish air force plane, right up to the moment when it was shot down by the Syrian air defense," the source told the news agency.
"This data unambiguously confirms the fact that the plane violated Syrian airspace." While there was no official confirmation of this report, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the weekend that Russia had information about the plane's position and was prepared to share the data.
The source quoted by Interfax did not make clear where the information came from. But it said that "we are monitoring the situation through different channels" and the Russian armed forces were capable of analyzing such data.
Turkey's military has insisted that the Turkish F-4 Phantom jet fighter shot down by Syrian forces on June 22 was in international airspace.
However a report by Wall Street Journal, citing US intelligence, claimed the plane was "most likely hit by shore-based anti-aircraft guns while it was inside Syrian airspace." The incident has led to a surge in tension between Damascus and Ankara amid the conflict in Syria. Turkey scrambled fighter jets after Syrian helicopters flew close to the border at the weekend.