Date
23 March 2017
'We have no intention of fighting a war with Turkey,' says Sergei Lavrov. Photo: AFP
'We have no intention of fighting a war with Turkey,' says Sergei Lavrov. Photo: AFP

Russia and Turkey stand firm over downing of fighter jet

Russia sent an advanced missile system to Syria to protect its jets operating there, Reuters reported.

Moscow pledged its air force would keep flying missions near Turkish air space, sounding a defiant note after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet.

Underscoring the message, Russian forces launched a heavy bombardment against insurgent-held areas in Latakia on Wednesday, near where the jet was downed, rebels and a monitoring group said.

The downing of the jet Tuesday was one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member and Russia for half a century and further complicated international efforts to battle Islamic State militants in Syria.

President Tayyip Erdogan made no apology, saying his country had simply been defending its own security and the “rights of our brothers in Syria”.

He made clear Turkish policy would not change.

Officials in Moscow expressed fury over Turkey’s action and spoke of retaliatory measures that were likely to include curbing travel by Russian tourists to Turkish resorts and some restrictions on trade.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described it as a planned act and said it would affect efforts toward a political solution in Syria.

But he said: “We have no intention of fighting a war with Turkey.” 

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RC/FL

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