Ankara: No Request for NATO Troops in Turkey

Ankara: No Request for NATO Troops in Turkey
Fri Oct 9, 2015 14:38:57

Ankara says it has not made any requests for NATO military forces to be sent to Turkey as a row with Russia over reported Turkish air space violations by Russian jets seems to be cooling down.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç made the remarks during a press briefing in the capital, Ankara, on Friday.

The comments came after speculations that senior authorities in Ankara had sought the deployment of NATO troops in Turkey over the alleged violation of its airspace by Russian aircraft stationed in neighboring Syria.

NATO's chief also recently said that the Western military alliance was prepared to send forces to defend Turkey.

“NATO is ready and able to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threats,” NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters before a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

Turkey had accused a Russian aircraft of violating its airspace twice over the past days.

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, two Turkish F-16 war planes scrambled on Saturday after a Russian jet fighter crossed into its airspace near the southern province of Hatay.

In a second incident on Monday, not confirmed by Russia, Ankara said a MiG-29 combat aircraft had harassed two of its F-16s by locking its radar on them as they were patrolling the border.

Following the first incident, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the jet had accidentally entered Turkish airspace while returning to its base “for several seconds” due to weather conditions on Saturday.

Konashenkov added that Moscow had taken measures aimed at preventing “any such incidents in the future.”

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov had informed him that the incident was a mistake.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday warned that Russia risked losing a deal to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant and its status as the country's main gas supplier.

However, senior Russian officials have played down the possibility of any tensions with Turkey.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has emphasized that Moscow wants to keep good ties with Ankara. "As for the Russian air force operation in Syria, our actions in support of safeguarding Syria contribute to ensuring stability and security in the region sitting on Turkey's borders."

Moscow began its military campaign against Daesh terrorists and other militant groups in Syria on September 30 upon a request from the Damascus government.

Reports indicate that Russia has targeted militant groups backed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Syria; Press TV reported.

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