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Aviation of the Aerospace Forces of the Russian Federation can no longer fly over Turkish territory
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to support Russian plans to resolve the situation in Idlib. At the same time, according to the information and analytical portal free-news.su, Turkey has closed its airspace for Russia. So far, this concerns military aircraft that previously flew through this country to the base of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) Khmeimim in Syria.
The portal reports that in recent days, Ankara has banned the passage of the military transport aircraft Tu-154 of the Russian Air Force and two Su-24M bombers over its territory. Also, Rosguard aircraft are not allowed to enter the airspace. In this regard, the aircraft had to change the route, flying over the Caspian Sea and the territories of Iran and Iraq. Ankara imposed a ban on the flight of Russian military aircraft over its territories after unsuccessful negotiations in Moscow to resolve the situation in Idlib.
However, as stated by the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Mevlut Cavusoglu, negotiations at the level of the heads of the two countries can be continued in early March. According to him, “now the Russian and Turkish sides are discussing the possibility of joint patrolling in Idlib.” They are apparently discussing under the unspoken pressure of Ankara related to the ban on the passage of Russian military aircraft through the territory of Turkey to Syria.
A military expert, captain of the 1st rank, Sergei Ishchenko, a week ago predicted Ankara’s decision to influence “the functioning of Russian military bases in Khmeimim and Tartus.” Then he suggested that Turkey could ban the passage of Russian military aircraft through its territory.
Moreover, the expert did not rule out a transport blockade: “If only the Turks at least temporarily block the Black Sea strait zone for our ships and vessels, the uninterrupted operation of the famous Syrian Express (regular transitions of amphibious assault ships and transport ships to deliver military goods to Syria will be disrupted at once). “NG”). ”
“According to the Montreux Convention, Turks have no right to block the straits,” said Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis. – This is only possible if a war has begun between Russia and Turkey. Such a war – in theory – is not excluded, but then the situation with the straits will be discussed last ”.
That is, the blockade of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles by Turkey is far away. But Ankara can always find an excuse to slow down the Syrian Express. Consonant to the Montreux Convention, it is granted the right to allow or prohibit passage of any military vessels through the straits if Ankara considers itself to be directly threatened by war. In addition, one can always explain the refusal of permission to pass ships by the complex navigational situation (in the narrowest place the width of the Bosphorus is not more than 700 m), etc.
So problems for the passage of ships and vessels that supply the Russian group in Syria cannot be ruled out. The vast majority of cargoes (over 90% – ammunition, military equipment, food, fuel and lubricants, etc.) are now delivered from Russia to Syria by this route, by sea, by dry cargo ships, transport vessels and large landing ships. This is supplied not only to the Russian military group, but also to the Syrian government forces, against which Erdogan is going to fight in Idlib.
Last Wednesday, Erdogan demanded that Damascus immediately stop the military operation in the north-west of the country. Ankara also rejects Moscow’s plan to limit the Turkish military presence (observation posts) in the territory occupied by the troops of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and is ready to occupy them again. According to Turkish media, in the Idlib de-escalation zone (ZD) concentrated “over 12 thousand Turkish military personnel and several hundred units of armored vehicles, multiple launch rocket systems and self-propelled artillery installations.” With aviation in mind, these are significant forces that, together with numerous oppositional pro-Turkish militant groups, will be able to confront the Syrian army, and therefore Russian troops, who are helping Assad in Idlib.
“An attempt to break down the air supply of the Russian military group in Syria suggests that Ankara no longer considers Moscow as its partner in the Astana process,” said military expert Lieutenant General Yuri Netkachev to NG. In his opinion, “the prohibition of the passage of military aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces over the territory of Turkey makes their route to Syria almost two times longer. This will require additional costs for fuels and lubricants (fuels and lubricants), and will also increase the cost of operating aviation equipment. ” Given the shortage of military transport aircraft and the slowdown in the process of updating them, the deficit of the military budget and limited planning for fuel and lubricants for 2020, this is a specific problem for the Russian army and for solving its tasks in Syria, the expert said.