Russia says jet violated Turkish air space due to bad weather

The defence ministry in Moscow said measures had been taken to prevent a repeat of such incidents in the future.

AFP| Updated: Oct 06, 2015, 01:52 AM IST

Moscow: Russia on Monday said one of its warplanes had briefly entered Turkish air space during raids in Syria at the weekend due to bad weather, after the incident sparked concern in Ankara and the West.

The defence ministry in Moscow said measures had been taken to prevent a repeat of such incidents in the future.

"This incident is a result of unfavourable weather conditions," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

"There is no need to look for some conspiracy theories."

Turkey said the Russian aircraft exited its airspace after it was intercepted by two Turkish F-16 fighter jets.

Moscow said that a Russian Su-30 warplane entered Turkish air space for "several seconds" on Saturday as it sought to return to Syria's Hmeimim air base after carrying out raids against Islamic State militants.

"The Hmeimim airbase is located some 30 kilometres from the Syrian-Turkish border," the ministry said, adding that warplanes approach the airfield from the north under certain weather conditions.

Commanders of Russia's air forces, which are carrying out

the Syria raids, analysed the incident and had taken "necessary measures to prevent a repeat of such incidents in the future."

Yesterday, the Russian military had sent necessary explanations to Ankara via its embassy in Moscow, the defence ministry said.

The Turkish army also said that two Turkish jets were harassed by an unidentified Mig-29 fighter jet on the Syrian border on Monday.

But the Russian defence ministry said Moscow had nothing to do with that incident.

"There are no planes of this type at the Hmeimim airbase," it said.

Earlier on Monday NATO member Turkey warned Russia against violating its airspace during raids in Syria and NATO condemned the "extreme danger" of such intrusions.

US Secretary of State John Kerry for his part said the Russian warplane's "incursion" into the Turkish air space risked provoking a serious escalation.