NATO has condemned the incursions into Turkey’s airspace, on Saturday and Sunday, by Russian military SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft. NATO, in a statement, called on Moscow to “immediately explain these violations.”
The Russian ambassador has also been summoned by Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and warned that Russia “will be responsible for any undesired incident that may occur” in the event of further violations.
John Kerry, U.S Secretary of State, also supported Turkey’s apprehension. “We’re greatly concerned. It is precisely the kind of thing that, had Turkey responded under its rights, could have resulted in a shoot-down,” he said in Chile, on Monday.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also issued a strong statement against the Russian violation, reminding of Turkey’s rules of engagement about responding to military airspace advances from Syria.
“We will warn whoever violates our borders and our airspace in a friendly manner. That is true for whichever country it is, and Russia is our neighbor and friend. There is no tension between Turkey and Russia. The Syria issue is not a Turkish-Russian crisis,” Davutoğlu said.
A U.S.-led coalition, which includes Turkey, has launched airstrikes in Syria and Iraq against the militant group ISIS, for over a year. NATO demanded Russia “immediately cease its attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians, to focus its efforts on fighting ISIL.”