US Department of State: Russian Su-24 aircraft violated Turkish airspace

A Russian Air Force aircraft violated the airspace of Turkey last Tuesday and did not respond to numerous warnings, stated Elizabeth Trudeau, Press Office Director for the U.S. Department of State, during a briefing in Washington.

“Information including evidence from the Turkish side and our own sources indicates that the Russian aircraft violated the air space of Turkey. We also know that the Turks issued repeated warnings to the Russian pilots, but received no response,” said Trudeau. However, she did not respond to questions about the country`s territory over which the aircraft was attacked.

Trudeau stressed that the United States supports Turkey's right to defend itself, but called for de-escalation of the situation. "We support Turkey’s right to defend its territory and airspace.  However, it is important that the Russians and the Turks talk to each other at this point and take all measures to de-escalate the situation," Trudeau said.

Trudeau added that the US and NATO have serious concerns about Russian incursions into Turkish airspace, adding that Russia had not informed the United States about its intention to fly the SU-24 over Turkish airspace. "We do not coordinate operations with the Russian Federation. There is no provision in the memorandum of understanding to share that information," explained Trudeau.

She also called for Russia to maintain closer coordination and cooperation in the implementation of the combat missions and the fight against terrorists and IS. "It’s worth stepping up a step (to improve coordination. - ed.).  If our objectives are the same and if Russia is committed to the counter-ISIL fight, then that’s a conversation we’re going to have," concluded the Press Office Director.

  Syria, Russia, Turkey, Russian Troops in Syria