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Feb 3, 11:26 AM EST

Turkey bans Russian observation flight near Syria border


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MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russian military says Turkey has violated an international treaty by barring a planned Russian surveillance flight.

Defense Ministry official Sergei Ryzhkov says the Turkish military has refused to allow the mission intended to monitor the areas near Turkey's border with Syria and air bases used by NATO warplanes.

Ryzhkov accused Turkey of creating a "dangerous precedent of uncontrolled military activities" by breaching its obligations under the Open Skies Treaty. The agreement allows unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of its three dozen participants, which include the U.S., Russia and Turkey.

Ryzhkov said Wednesday that Turkey denied permission for the flight after Russian inspectors had already arrived.

Russia-Turkey ties have remained tense after a Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian warplane at the border with Syria in November.

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