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    Turkish Air Force Raises Alert Level After Alleged Airspace Violation

    © AFP 2019 / Yiannis Kourtoglou
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    The Turkish Air Force has declared an 'orange alert' at key bases after an alleged violation of the country’s airspace by a Russian fighter jet, Anadolu news agency reported, citing military sources in Ankara.

    “According to military sources the alert level at the Air Force bases has been changed to ‘orange,’” the agency reported. It gave no further details.

    “Orange alert” means that a conflict is possible at any time and that the armed forces must be prepared for attack and defense, while “red alert” is the highest level of preparedness when an attack by the enemy seems imminent, the newspaper Milliyet wrote.

    On January 30 the Turkish Foreign Ministry claimed that that a Russian Su-34 fighter jet had strayed into the country’s airspace. The statement also said that the plane had been warned by Turkish air radar units.

    Earlier, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Russian ambassador to Ankara late Friday to express its “strong protest and indignation” over the alleged violation of the country’s airspace.

    The Russian Defense Ministry denied the claim and said no such violation had actually happened. Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov dismissed Ankara's statement as "naked propaganda."

    “There were no violations of Turkish airspace by aircraft of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic. Turkish authorities' statements of an alleged violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-34 jet are naked propaganda,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov emphasized.

    On November 24, a Turkish F-16 fighter shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber with two pilots on board over Syria. Ankara claimed it had downed the Russian warplane as it had allegedly violated Turkish airspace. Both the Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command have confirmed that the Russian jet never crossed into Turkish airspace.

    In response to Ankara's "stab in the back," as the incident has been described by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow imposed a number of economic measures on Turkey.


    Turkey Summons Russian Ambassador Over Alleged Airspace Violation
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    alleged violation, orange alert, airspace, propaganda, protest, Sukhoi Su-34, Turkish Air Force, Turkish foreign ministry, Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, Turkey
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