Moscow plans to suspend military cooperation with Ankara after the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkish air forces, Russian General Staff representatives said on Tuesday.
“Further measures to beef up Russian air base security in Syria will also be taken.”
Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian bomber in Syrian airspace by a Turkish fighter jet as “a severe violation of international law”. He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory. The crash site was four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said.
Rudskoy said the Russian warplane did not violate Turkish airspace. Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace as it attacked the Russian bomber.
The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.
“We assume the strike was carried out with a close range missile with an infra-red seeker,” Rudskoy said. “The Turkish jet made no attempts to communicate or establish visual contact with our crew that our equipment would have registered. The Su-24 was hit by a missile over Syria’s territory.”
Russia now plans to implement new measures aimed at strengthening the security of the country’s air base in Syria and in particular to bolster air defense.
Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva, equipped with the ‘Fort’ air defense system, similar to the S-300, will be deployed off Latakia province’s coast.
“We warn that every target posing a potential threat will be destroyed,” lieutenant general Sergey Rudskoy said during the briefing.
“All military contacts with Turkey will be suspended,” he added.