Russia Violates Turkish Airspace Again in Direct Challenge to NATO

North Atlantic Council notes ‘extreme danger of such irresponsible behavior’

Mideast Syria Russia Troops
In this image made from video provided by Homs Media Centre, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, smoke rises after airstrikes by military jets in Talbiseh of the Homs province, western Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 / AP
• October 6, 2015 12:26 pm


Russia has now violated Turkish airspace on two separate occasions, according to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

NATO’s North Atlantic Council said in a statement after a Monday meeting that the Russian actions against Turkey, a NATO member, posed "extreme danger":

Russian military actions have reached a more dangerous level with the recent violations of Turkish airspace on 3 October and 4 October by Russian Air Force SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft in the Hatay region. The aircraft in question entered Turkish airspace despite Turkish authorities’ clear, timely and repeated warnings. In accordance with NATO practice, Turkish fighter aircraft responded to these incursions by closing to identify the intruder, after which the Russian planes departed Turkish airspace.

Allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. Allies also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behavior. They call on the Russian Federation to cease and desist, and immediately explain these violations.

Analysts say Russia’s recent deployment of fighter jets, troops, and other equipment to Syria allows the Kremlin to challenge NATO on another front in the Middle East. President Vladimir Putin has already led the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine, former Soviet countries that the United States once planned to integrate into NATO.

Russian officials have also said that their "volunteer" forces might soon begin operations in Syria—the same description the Kremlin used for troops fighting in eastern Ukraine. More than 8,000 people have died in the conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Published under: Russia, Syria, Vladimir Putin