Russia’s Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Anatoly Konovalov said that Russian pilots have been forced to reroute after Europe and Turkey closed airspace for Russian long-range aviation planes carrying out airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria.
Sputnik news reports:
According to Konovalov, Russian pilots had to leave for Syria from Russia’s northernmost Olenegorsk military airport in order to bypass Europe and then cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Syria.
“There were certain issues that excluded the possibility of performing the tasks by other means. Europe would not allow us, Turkey would not allow us,” Konovalov said.
He added that even in such conditions, Russia’s Long-Range Aviation proved its capability to perform the assigned tasks.
Russia has been conducting airstrikes on positions of IS, a group outlawed in many countries including Russia, in Syria since late September at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.