March 1, 2020 / 9:27 PM / a month ago

Russia to Turkey: We cannot guarantee safety of your planes over Syria - TASS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday that Moscow could not guarantee the safety of Turkish planes flying in Syria after Damascus said it was closing the air space over the Idlib region, the TASS news agency reported.

The ministry issued the warning after Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes over Idlib on Sunday and struck a military airport well beyond its frontlines in a sharp increase of its military operations following the death of dozens of Turkish soldiers last week.

“In these conditions the leadership of Russia’s military contingent (in Syria) cannot guarantee the safety of Turkish flights in Syrian skies,” TASS cited Counter Admiral Oleg Zhuravlev as saying.

Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Grant McCool

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