Turkey threatens to ‘engage’ Russian warplanes


Secretary General of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg 

ANKARA:  NATO member Turkey has threatened to “engage” Russian warplanes after theTurkish military allegedly intercepted a Russian fighter jet that had violated the country’s airspace while flying a sortie near the border with neighboring Syria over the weekend.

“Our rules of engagement are clear whoever violates our air space,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu  told Haber-Turk television in an interview.

“The Turkish Armed Forces are clearly instructed. Even if it is a flying bird it will be intercepted,” he added.

Ankara asserts that any element approaching the Turkish border from Syria would be treated as an enemy.

NATO warns Moscow

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg has warned Moscow about escalating tensions with the Western military alliance through “unacceptable” violations of Turkish airspace.

“I just met with Foreign Minister of Turkey Feridun Sinirlioglu to discuss the recent military actions of the Russian Federation in and around Syria, including the unacceptable violations of Turkish airspace by Russian combat aircraft,” he said.

“I call on Russia to fully respect NATO airspace and avoid escalating tensions with the alliance,”Stoltenberg noted.’’ Agencies

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