ACTIVATED: Russian S-400 AA missile system positioned in Syria
ACTIVATED: Russian S-400 AA missile system positioned in Syria

US expresses concerns about their wide reach

Russia has deployed its advanced S-400 air defence system in Syria as the Turkish president said he will not apologise for shooting down a Russian fighter jet.

Following the incident Moscow positioned the missile system to protect its planes carrying out air strikes of “terrorist” positions in Syria.

Turkey said that the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 flew across its airspace on Wednesday 25th November ignoring 10 warnings.

Russia said that its pilots received no warnings and the incursion lasted 17 seconds when the aircraft was returning to its base from a mission in Syria.

The US expressed concern because the missiles could reach 400 kilometres (250 miles) beyond Syria’s borders into Turkey.

The Times of Israel newspaper said that the air defence system will grant Russia aerial control over practically all of Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus, over half of Turkey, parts of Iraq and Jordan and over Israel as far as Ben Gurion International Airport, approximately 395 kilometers (245 miles) away.

The Israeli Defence Force has not commented on the implications for Israeli Air Force operations.

Russian Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that they were “sure” that Russian planes destroying ISIS targets would not be attacked by the US-led anti-ISIS coalition but the downing of the Russian jet was a game changer so “the safety of Russian fleet’s planes… will be ensured by more secure means,” he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an American television station that there was no need to apologise for shooting down the Russian fighter jet.

“I think if there is a party that needs to apologise, it is not us,” he told CNN. “Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologise. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to … violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence.”