Turkey's 'right to defend airspace' should be respected, UK PM Cameron says

ANADOLU AGENCY
LONDON
Published 25.11.2015 00:00
Updated 25.11.2015 21:15
British Prime Minister David Cameron (EPA Photo)
British Prime Minister David Cameron (EPA Photo)

British Prime Minister David Cameron has told the members of parliament in the House of Commons that the United Kingdom should "respect Turkey's right to protect its airspace just as we defend our own".

Cameron was answering questions from MPs on Wednesday a day after Turkish F-16s downed a Russian warplane which violated Turkish airspace.

"The facts from this are not yet clear; I think we should respect Turkey's right to protect its airspace just as we defend our own. But it is very important that we get to the bottom of what has really happened," Cameron said.

On Tuesday, two Turkish F-16 fighter jets on an aerial patrol intercepted a Russian warplane within engagement rules when it intruded into Turkish airspace near the Turkey-Syria border.

The intruding aircraft was warned about the violation 10 times within five minutes before it was shot down.

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed that one of its Russian SU-24 fighter jets had been shot down, crashing in the Syrian region of Bayırbucak close to the Yayladagı district of Turkey's southern Hatay province.

NATO confirmed the accuracy of the radar trace data that Turkey shared which clearly showed that the Russian warplane violated Turkish airspace.

This was not the first time Russian fighter jets had violated Turkish airspace. In early October, Russian warplanes had breached Turkish airspace for which Russian officials apologized and pledged that no such incident would be repeated.

Turkey had also renewed its warning to implement engagement rules, including military response against violations of Turkish airspace.

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