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Russia 'to send S-300 missile defence system' to Syria

A S-300 air defence system will be sent to Russia's air base in Syria, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Russia's S-300 missile defence system, pictured in Moscow in 2009 Credit: Reuters

After a Russian fighter jet was shot down by Turkey amid allegations the Russians had violated their airspace, news agencies reported the president as saying the advanced, long-range anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile system would be deployed to the region.

Putin also accused Turkey's political leaders of supporting a "deliberate policy of Islamisation" of the country, saying he believed that was part of the problem.


Germany to send 650 soldiers to help keep peace in Mali

Up to 650 soldiers will be sent from Germany to Mali to join the UN peacekeeping mission there, the country's Defence Minister has announced.

Ursula von der Leyen said the move was aimed at helping French forces already in position in the African nation.

It comes after 19 people were killed and a further seven injured when militants seized 170 hostages at the Radisson Blu in Bamako earlier this month.

Merkel: Shooting down of Russian jet 'complicates' Syria talks

Turkey needs to do everything it can to de-escalate the situation with Russia after shooting down one of its fighter jets, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned.

The incident has "complicated" the process of finding a political solution in Syria, she added, speaking in the lower house of parliament.

The situation has been aggravated by the shooting down of a Russian plane by Turkey.

We need to do everything to avoid an escalation. Of course every country has a right to defend its territory, but on the other hand we know how tense the situation is in Syria and in the surrounding area.

I spoke yesterday with the Turkish prime minister and asked him to do everything to de-escalate the situation.

– Angela Merkel, Chancellor

Erdogan: We do not want 'escalation' over Russian jet

Turkey does not want any "escalation" after shooting down a Russian fighter jet, President Tayyip Erdogan said - arguing his country had simply acted to defend its own security and the "rights of our brothers" in Syria.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Credit: Reuters

Speaking at a business event in Istanbul, he insisted that the jet had been shot at while in Turkish air space, but said it had crashed inside Syria.

Some parts of the plane landed in Turkey and injured two citizens, he added.


One Russian pilot rescued, the other killed by jihadists

One of two Russian pilots whose plane was shot down by Turkey has been picked up by the Syrian army and taken to Russia's base, officials have said - but the other has reportedly been killed by militants on the ground.

The Russian jet was shot down by Turkey Credit: Reuters

According to Russia's ambassador to France, he had managed to eject and escaped alive. He is now expected to be taken to the Russian airforce base in the country.

Speaking to Europe 1 radio, ambassador Alexandre Orlov said the other had been wounded when he parachuted down, and was then killed by militants.

One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and killed in a savage way on the ground by the jihadists in the area and the other managed to escape and, according to the latest information, has been picked up by the Syrian army and should be going back to the Russian airforce base.

– Alexandre Orlov, Russia's ambassador to France

First metro service runs in Brussels

The first metro service of the day has run in Brussels after four days of lockdown in Belgium's capital, sparked by a security alert.

Local media company RTBF tweeted a picture of the train:

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