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Iran Press TV

Russian fighter jet shadows US reconnaissance aircraft off Syrian coast

Iran Press TV

Monday, 20 April 2020 2:17 PM

A Russian fighter jet has intercepted a US Navy surveillance aircraft flying over the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Syria, after the latter sought to break through Russia's air defense.

"On April 19, the Russian equipment controlling the airspace over the neutral waters of the Mediterranean Sea detected an air target flying towards Russia's military facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic.

"A fighter jet from the air defense quick reaction force of the Hmeimim air base scrambled to identify the target," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement released on Monday.

The statement added that the Russian fighter shadowed the US spy plane and returned to its air base, after the American aircraft changed its course.

"The aircraft of Russia's Aerospace Force have performed and will continue to perform all flights in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace over neutral waters," the ministry added.

Russia has been helping Syrian forces in the ongoing anti-terror battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country.

The Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as Syrians continue to recapture key areas from terrorist groups across the country, thanks to Russia's air cover.

Turkish forces bring in logistical equipment, military hardware to Syria's Hasakah

Separately, local sources told Syria's official news agency SANA that three Turkish military vehicles passed through al-Sokkariyeh village on Monday morning, and headed towards al-Dawoudiya village in the Abu Rasin district, which lies in the northern environs of Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah.

The sources, requesting anonymity, added that the vehicles were carrying "rocket-propelled grenades and logistic equipment."

In another development, a convoy of 40 pickup trucks with dozens of Turkish-backed Takfiri militants aboard moved from the southern suburbs of al-Duwaira village to the strategic border city of Ra's al-Ayn, and continued their journey to Turkish territories.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria last October after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push militants of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 22 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.

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