Great Satan US ‘greatly concerned’ by double faced Russia’s incursion of Turkish airspace: Kerry
The United States has warned that a Russian fighter jet’s “incursion” into the airspace of Turkey, a NATO ally, risked provoking a serious escalation.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that Washington was “greatly concerned” about the incursion and had intensified discussions with Moscow.
“We’re greatly concerned about it because it is precisely the kind of thing that had Turkey responded under its rights could have resulted in a shoot-down,” Kerry said at a public event in Chile.
“It is precisely the kind of thing that we warned against,” he said, referring to the Pentagon’s attempts to set up a so-called “de-confliction” mechanism with Russian commanders.
The top US diplomat said Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu called him about the incident on Saturday.
Kerry said he also discussed the incident with US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and White House national security adviser Susan Rice.
He said he had since intensified diplomatic discussions to ensure that there was no accidental conflict between Russian and US-led coalition planes over Syria.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has also accused Russia of escalating tensions with the Western military alliance by the “unacceptable violation” of Turkish airspace.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier that Russia has admitted that it violated the Turkish airspace but described it as accidental.
Russia has been beefing up its military presence in neighboring Syria, deploying warplanes, tanks and personnel to an airfield in the western port city of Latakia.
Russia last week began coordinated airstrikes on militant positions in Syria. Moscow’s commitment to the Syrian government runs counter to current US policy, which calls for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011 aimed at toppling the Assad government. The violence has claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people so far.