A Russian fighter aircraft violated Turkish airspace at 12:08 a.m. on Oct. 3 in the southern district of Yayladağı in Hatay province, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
“The Russian aircraft exited Turkish airspace into Syria after it was intercepted by two F-16s from the Turkish Air Force, which were conducting patrols in the region,” a written statement said Oct. 5.
The ministry summoned the ambassador of Russia in Ankara, Andrey Karlov, and strongly protested the violation, read the statement.
The ministry demanded that any such violation not be repeated and asserted that, otherwise, Russiawould be responsible for any undesired incident that could occur, it added.
Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu also called his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to lodge a protest.
Sinirlioğlu also conducted telephone calls with his U.S., French, Italian and British counterparts to evaluate the situation. He also plans to consult with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and hisGerman counterpart.
A Russian warplane on a bombing run in Syria flew within five miles of the Turkish border, U.S. media reported on Oct. 4.
A Turkish security official reportedly said Turkish radar locked onto the Russian aircraft as it was bombing early Oct. 2 in al-Yamdiyyah, a Syrian village directly on the Turkish border. He said Turkish fighter jets would have attacked had it crossed into Turkish airspace.
A U.S. military official suggested the incident had come close to sparking an armed confrontation. Reading from a report, he said the Russian aircraft had violated Turkish air space by five miles and that Turkish jets had been scrambled, but that the Russian aircraft had returned to Syrian airspace before they could respond.