Russia may strike terrorists overseas -Air Force commander

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ROSTOV-ON-DON, June 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia may carry out strikes against terrorists based abroad, a top military commander said Monday.

When speaking at a press conference in Rostov-on-Don, in southern Russia, Commander of the Air Force Vladimir Mikhailov said: "If we know the bandits' coordinates, even if they are outside Russia, why not use this [opportunity]?" He added that both the defense minister and the chief of the general staff had already mentioned the possibility.

Mikhailov pointed to the example of the Kant air base, in Kyrgyzstan, which had been established because of regional instability.

The Russian Air Force commander denied allegations that Russian warplanes had violated the airspace of Georgia. "We move on our own turf, sometimes taking photographs and sometimes just looking around," Mikhailov said. "Terrorists may emerge whenever they like, and we must be able to spot them immediately."

The Russian authorities have repeatedly told Georgia about their concern over the Pankissi Gorge, which, they claim, has turned into a haven for terrorists crossing the border from Chechnya.

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