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NATO to use AWACS aircraft for Syrian airspace surveillance soon

October 21, 2016, 14:40 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

A political decision on sending AWACS (airborne warning and control system) planes was made at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July

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© AP Photo/Frank Augstein

BRUSSELS, October 21. /TASS/. NATO will start flights of AWACS (airborne warning and control system) aircraft in the coming weeks for the Syrian airspace surveillance, the alliance’s headquarters told TASS on Friday.

The NATO headquarters thus replied to the TASS’ question about the external radar control of the Syrian airspace in the wake of Belgium’s refusal to admit that its combat planes had delivered air strikes near Aleppo.

"We expect the first AWACS surveillance flights in support of the Counter-ISIL [the Islamic State terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] Global coalition to start in the coming weeks. The AWACS will only fly in international airspace or over Turkey, not over Syria. The AWACS will conduct airspace surveillance only, they will not be involved in combat missions," the alliance’s press office reported.

A political decision on sending AWACS planes was made at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July.

The NATO headquarters refused on Thursday to comment on the information of Russia’s Defense Ministry about the air strikes of Belgian combat planes in Syria, which killed six civilians.

Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov handed over proofs to Belgian Ambassador to Moscow Alex van Meeuwen on Friday about the complicity of the Belgian Air Force in the air strike delivered against an Aleppo suburb on October 18, the ministry said.

The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria earlier reported about an air strike against Hassadjek on October 18. There were neither Russian nor Syrian combat planes in that area. At the same time, the flight of fighter jets of the Belgian Air Force was registered.

The international coalition fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization uses six Belgian F-16 fighter jets. However, Belgium is denying its complicity in the incident.

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