Physique of Russian pilot killed in Syria to be returned: Turkish PM

Updated November 29, 2015 23:12:49

The body of a Russian pilot killed when his plane was shot down by Turkey last week will be handed over to a Russian representative soon after becoming retrieved from Syria, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu says.

“The pilot who lost his life for the duration of the air violation was received by us on the [Syrian] border last evening,” Mr Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul, prior to leaving for a meeting with EU leaders in Brussels.

Mr Davutoglu added a Russian official would travel to the southern Hatay area with a Turkish military official soon to claim the body.

The Russian embassy in Turkey told the Russian RIA Novosti news agency that Oleg Peskov’s physique would be flown on Sunday from Hatay in the presence of Russia’s military, attached to an aerodrome in Ankara, exactly where it would be met by the ambassador.

The date and time when the physique would be returned to Russia was still to be confirmed, embassy spokesman Igor Mityakov said.

The man was shot dead in Syria soon after parachuting from the burning aircraft, whilst a second man was discovered protected.

“In accordance with their [Russian] religious tradition, funeral arrangements had been carried out by Orthodox priests in Hatay,” Mr Davutoglu mentioned.

Turkey’s military mentioned the Su-24 bomber was shot down by two of its F-16s after it violated Turkish airspace ten instances inside a five-minute period on Tuesday.

Russia, however, said no warning had been provided and that the aircraft did not violate Turkish airspace, and demanded an apology.

The incident has led to a sharp deterioration of relations, with Moscow, a main trade partner and Turkey’s largest power supplier, on Saturday announcing a package of economic sanctions against Turkey.

“Turkey’s relations with Russia is based on mutual advantage and typical interests. As a result, I urge the Russian authorities to take this into consideration and act in a cool-headed way,” Mr Davutoglu mentioned when asked about the sanctions.

Russian plane violated Israeli-controlled airspace: defence minister

A Russian warplane not too long ago entered Israeli-controlled airspace from Syria, but the intrusion was resolved without incident, Israeli defence minister Moshe Yaalon said on Sunday.

“There was a slight intrusion a mile [1.6 kilometres] deep by a Russian plane from Syria into our airspace, but it was quickly resolved and the Russian plane returned towards Syria,” Mr Yaalon told public radio.

Russian jet shot down by Turkey Photo: Turkey says it issued repeated warnings to a Russian jet it claimed violated its airspace. (Anadolu)

“It was apparently an error by the pilot who was flying close to the Golan.”

Israel seized most of the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and later annexed the territory in a move never recognised by the international community.

Mr Yaalon mentioned Israel and Russia had produced arrangements to steer clear of clashes more than Syria, with the agreement mentioned to contain a “hotline” and data sharing.

“Russian planes do not intend to attack us, which is why we need to not automatically react and shoot them down when an error happens,” he stated.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian president Vladimir Putin held talks in Moscow in September to talk about ways of avoiding accidental clashes.

Russia launched a bombing campaign in Syria on September 30 at the request of its longstanding ally Bashar al-Assad, which Moscow says is targeting Islamic State jihadists and other “terrorist” groups.

AFP

Subjects: unrest-conflict-and-war, defence-and-national-safety, air-force, air-and-space, turkey, syrian-arab-republic, russian-federation

Initial posted November 29, 2015 23:11:00

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