In a rare incident, two Turkish F16 fighter jets have intercepted a Russian military spy plane above the international waters between the two countries in the Black Sea, the Turkish army announced on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Turkish army explained that: “The Turkish fighter jets scrambled on Tuesday afternoon to prevent a potential violation of Turkish airspace after a Russian Ilyushin II-20 plane was detected flying in parallel to the Turkish coast.”
The statement added that: “The Turkish aircraft monitored the Russian plane until it left the area heading to the Bulgarian border.”
It was not clear why Turkey intercepted the IL-20, which is a reconnaissance aircraft that was manufactured in the late 1960s during the Soviet era. It was also not clear what the plane was doing above the international waters.
Russian newspaper RIA NOVOSTI said that Japan and Sweden have reported similar interceptions in the past of Il-20 planes flying close to their airspace.