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NATO allies condemn Russia’s airspace violations in Turkey as “irresponsible”

NATO allies have condemned Russia’s incursions into Turkish airspace, calling it dangerous and irresponsible behavior. The member states also called on Russia to cease its alleged attacks against the Syrian opposition and to focus on the Islamic State (ISIS) group instead.

"Russian military actions have reached a more dangerous level with the recent violations of Turkish airspace," NATO said in a joint statement after an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council. "Allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace."

The member states called on Russia to cease and desist, ensure that similar incursions do not re-occur in the future, and to immediately explain the airspace violations. "Allies also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behavior," the joint statement said, adding that "the security of the Alliance is indivisible."

According to Turkish authorities, Russian Air Force SU-30 and SU-24 aircraft entered Turkish airspace on Saturday and Sunday, despite "clear, timely and repeated warnings." Turkish fighter aircraft responded to the incursions, after which the Russian planes departed Turkish airspace.

Monday’s joint statement also expressed "deep concern" over Russia's military build-up and airstrikes in Syria, which have reportedly killed dozens of civilians. "Allies call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its attacks on the Syrian opposition and civilians, to focus its efforts on fighting ISIL, and to promote a solution to the conflict through a political transition," the statement said.

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