BEIRUT:(APS)Oct 6,2015 — NATO’s secretary general Tuesday rebuffed Moscow’s claim that its recent incursion into Turkish airspace was accidental, saying there were two “very serious” and separate incidents over the weekend.
“It doesn’t look like an accident, and we’ve seen two of them over the weekend,” Jens Stoltenberg told a Brussels news conference.
According to a Washington Post that he said he did not want to speculate on the motives, but said the NATO alliance, which includes Turkey, had not had any “real explanation” from the Russians.
The hardened NATO stance reflects the wider concerns in the West over Russia’s military moves in Syria to back up the embattled government of President Bashar al-Assad, a critical Moscow ally.
Russian airstrikes Tuesday hit areas including the ancient city of Palmyra, Syrian state TV said. Activists have accused the Islamic State of destroying antiquities in the area, such as the “Arch of Triumph” that was viewed by the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century.