Russia blames bad weather for violation of Turkey airspace
Updated: 2015-10-06 08:14
A frame grab taken from footage released by Russia's Defence Ministry October 5, 2015, shows a Russian air force jet taxiing on the tarmac of Heymim air base in Syria. [Photo/Agencies]
MOSCOW - Russian Defense Ministry on Monday blamed bad weather conditions for the brief violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian aircraft near Syrian border.
"The incident was a consequence of unfavorable weather conditions in the area. One should not look for any conspiracy theories here," the ministry said in an online press release.
"On Oct. 3, after completing a planned combat flight, while maneuvering over a mountainous and wooded area before returning to Syria's Hmaimim airbase, the Russian Su-30 military aircraft crossed briefly, for a few seconds, into Turkish airspace," the ministry said.
The aircraft sometimes had to head to the airbase from the north side in certain climate conditions, which might cause a mistaken cross into Turkish airspace as the airbase is located about 30 kilometers from the Syrian-Turkish border, it explained.
Turkey said Monday that a Russian warplane violated its airspace Saturday in the southern Yayladagi town of Hatay province near the Syrian border.
The Russian ambassador in Turkey was summoned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry earlier Monday. In the meantime, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu conveyed the protest during the phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said a meeting of the North Atlantic Council would be convened later to discuss the security situation in Turkey.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, necessary measures were taken to prevent similar cases from happening in the future. The ministry noted that explanations were sent via military attache at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow Sunday.
It also clarified that Russian air forces in Syria have nothing to do with the unidentified MIG-29 aircraft, which according to Turkey harassed two Turkish F-16 jets patrolling the border with Syria Sunday.