The Moskva (‘Moscow’) missile cruiser now standing off the Syrian coast. (image source)
The Kremlin has hinted it will halt military cooperation with Turkey after a Russian warplane flying a mission against ISIS and Free Syrian Army (FSA) targets in Syria was shot down by Turkish air force pilots. Russian General Staff representatives said on Tuesday that measures to strengthen security around the Russian air base in Syria will be taken.
Sergey Rudskoy, of the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian plane, which evidence suggest did not violate Turkey's airspace, by Turkish fighter jets as “a severe violation of international law”. He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory, four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said.
Additionally, according to the Hmeymim airfield radar, it was the Turkish fighter jet that actually entered Syrian airspace to attack the Russian aircraft.
The Turkish fighter jet made no attempts to contact Russian pilots before attacking the bomber, Rudskoy added.
“We assume the strike was carried out with a close range missile with an infra-red seeker,” Rudskoy said. “The Turkish jet made no attempts to communicate or establish visual contact with our crew that our equipment would have registered. The Su-24 was hit by a missile over Syria’s territory.”
Vladimir Putin was said to be furious about the attack and the follow up which saw Syrian guerillas fighting against Assad bring down a Russian rescue helicopter with an anti tank missile supplied by the USA. Shortly after Putin warned there would be serious consequences following the attack, Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva, equipped with the ‘Fort’ air defense system, similar to the S-300, was order to a position off Latakia province's coast.
"We warn that every target posing a potential threat will be destroyed,” lieutenant general Sergey Rudskoy said during the press briefing on the move.
from Russia Today
The Moskva (‘Moscow’) missile cruiser is a flagship vessel of the Russian Black Sea fleet and is one of the fleet’s two biggest ships. The cruiser was stationed in Sevastopol but left in summer 2015 after being deployed to the Mediterranean Sea where it joined Russia’s standing naval force in the Mediterranean.
Since September 30, the Moskva cruiser acts as a covering force for the Russian air forces in Syria while deployed in the eastern Mediterranean.