Russia Strikes Back: Russian Warship Fires Warning Shots at Turkish Ship

Russia Strikes Back: Russian Warship Fires Warning Shots at Turkish Ship

According to the Russian defence ministry, one of its warships fired warning shots at an unresponsive Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea earlier today.

Their warship, the Smetlivy, was reportedly unable to establish radio contact with an approaching Turkish vessel. After sending out visual signs and flares failed, and with the Turkish vessel now only 600 meters away, the Russian destroyer fired small arms at the ship, following which it swiftly changed course.

The ministry has claimed the warning shots were not lethal and they avoided any risk of hitting the ship.

Turkey’s military attaché to Moscow has been summoned over this incident, adding to a growing number of tense political and military exchanges between Russia and Turkey since the onset of the Syrian civil war, the worst of which came last month when a Turkish jet shot down a Russian bomber close to the Syrian border, killing one of the pilots.

Another similar incident occurred last week when a Russian naval vessel passing through the Bosphorus reportedly brandished a rocket launcher. Putin has defended the sailor involved.
Following these events, anti-Turkish sentiment has been rapidly increasing in Russia, leading to a number of attacks against Turkish property and the arrest of a group of Turkish businessmen.

Amidst such ongoing tension, the Turkish General Staff has banned military personnel from travelling to Russia. Russia has placed embargoes on Turkish imports and has blocked the sale of tourism packages to Turkey.

Turkish ships are also being detained at Russian ports, spurring the Turkish authorities to do the same and further exacerbating the deterioration of economic and political relations between the two countries.

Tensions are likely to continue to escalate, particularly with both Russia and Turkey’s increasing military involvement in the intractable Syrian crisis.

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