A Russian fighter jet was intercepted by Turkish warplanes after violating Turkey’s air space, the Turkish foreign ministry said Monday.
The Russian plane crossed into the southern province of Hatay on Saturday, according to a statement.
“A fighter aircraft belonging to the Russian Federation violated Turkish airspace at 12:08 [0908GMT] south of the Yayladagi/Hatay region,” the statement said.
“The Russian aircraft exited Turkish airspace into Syria after it was intercepted by two F-16s from the Turkish Air Force, which were conducting patrols in the region.”
Yayladagi lies to the north of a region where Syrian government forces are facing rebel groups not linked to Daesh.
Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu telephoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to complain about the incident and the Russian ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry. Acting Undersecretary Ahmet Muhtar Gun protested “strongly” about the incursion to the ambassador and demanded it never happen again.
Gun said Russia would be responsible for any “undesired incident” resulting from a future violation.
Sinirlioglu also spoke to Turkey’s NATO allies about the incident.
Russia began flying combat missions over Syria on Sept. 30 following an escalation in its military support for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Despite claiming to be targeting Daesh, the U.S. and its allies have complained of Russian airstrikes on “moderate” forces fighting Assad.