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Russian plane flies over Turkish airspace, NATO ambassadors summoned (update)

A Russian sukhoi in Syria on the trail (credit: MOD Russia)
A Russian sukhoi in Syria on the trail (credit: MOD Russia)

(B2) A meeting of NATO ambassadors (NAC) is specially convened this Monday afternoon to discuss the violation of Turkish airspace by Russian planes. This was announced earlier by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a meeting with le Minister of Foreign Affairs you know, Feridun Sinirlioglu, passing through Brussels.

All of this « violations de Turkish airspace by planes of fight Russian (are) unacceptable » said Jens Stoltenber. « The russia stocks do not contribute to security and regional stability. I ask Russia to fully respect airspace of NATO et to avoid escalation tension with the covenant ". And to add: I urge to Russia to take the necessary measures to harmonize its efforts with those of the international community in the fight against HEAT ».

In fact there were two violations over the weekend carried out by Russian Sukhoi-30 and Sukhoi-24 aircraft. One occurred on Saturday (October 3), when a Russian plane was intercepted by two F-16s from the Turkish armed forces, patrolling the region. He would have caught Turkish planes in his radar. On Sunday (October 4), another plane which had violated Turkish space by a few hundred meters in the southern district of Yayladağı, around noon on Sunday, returned to Syrian airspace after a warning, these Turkish military sources specify, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, who are " A browsing error pleaded the Russians. (*)

Comments: NATO's prompt response can be noted. The regular violations of Greek airspace by Turkish planes do not arouse such enthusiasm. More recently, the bloody bombing of an MSF hospital in Afghanistan did not really provoke such strong comments. On a military level, we can consider that this Russian overflow is not a simple “navigation error” but rather a free warning to the Turkish authorities to inform them that the Syrian border is now well monitored and… to be respected.

(Maj) The NATO Allies published, after their meeting, a declaration with two essential points. First, the allies strongly protest " and " condemn » these incursions into Turkey's sovereign airspace. They also note “the extreme danger of such irresponsible behavior” and call on the Russian Federation "to immediately cease these violations" and of " take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not take place in the future”. Second, the Allies also call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its attacks against the Syrian opposition and civilians, focus its efforts on the fight against ISIL (Daesh), and promote a solution to the conflict through a political transition”. Download the Declaration (English)

(*) § updated on 6.10.2015

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).