Turkey has again summoned the Russian ambassador after a second violation of its airspace by a Russian warplane operating in Syria in two days, bbc.com reports.
The first incident occurred on Saturday in Turkey’s southern Hatay province. The Russian aircraft exited Turkish airspace into Syria after it was intercepted by two F-16s from the Turkish air force, which were conducting patrols in the region.
The country’s foreign ministry summoned Moscow’s ambassador to protest the violation and warned Russia that it would be held ‘responsible for any undesired incident that may occur’.
The Russian military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, told a briefing in Moscow that the Russian jet’s pilot had mistakenly entered Turkish airspace in bad weather as the aircraft approached a base near Latakia, Syria, about 30 kilometres from the Turkish border.
“This current incident is a result of bad weather conditions in this region,” he said. “You shouldn’t look for conspiracy theories.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu on Monday to discuss Russia’s moves.
“I made clear that NATO remains strongly committed to Turkey’s security. I will convene a meeting of the North Atlantic Council later today to discuss the situation. Russia’s actions are not contributing to the security and stability of the region.” he said.
Turkey said the second violation occurred on Sunday. It prompted Ankara to once again summon Moscow’s ambassador. The Kremlin has not officially reacted to the accusation yet.
Visiting Chile on October 5, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Turkey would have been within its rights to shoot the jets down.