ANKARA: Nato member Turkey has “temporarily” suspended air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria after the downing of a Russian warplane on the Syrian border sparked a major row with Moscow, local media reported on Friday.
Turkish F-16 jets on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane which Ankara said had breached its air space. Russia on Thursday vowed to carry out broad retaliatory measures against Turkey’s economy.
Turkey, a member of a US-led coalition fighting IS, has halted air raids against the group in Syria in order to avoid any further crises, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.
“Both sides agreed to act cautiously until they re-establish dialogue channels to reduce tensions,” the paper said, citing security sources. Government officials contacted by AFP were not immediately available for comment.
The downing of the plane sparked a grave crisis in relations between the two countries, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling it a “stab in the back” and demanding an apology from Turkish leadership.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has angrily rebuffed the Kremlin’s demand for an apology and said Putin snubbed a phone call from him after the incident.