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RAF scrambles jets to intercept Russian military planes

The RAF scrambled Typhoon jets to intercept Russian military jets approaching British airspace last night.

A Russian Blackjack bomber photographed approaching the UK last month Credit: MoD

Planes were sent from the air base at Lossiemouth, north east Scotland, after two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack bomber planes were sighted flying over the Atlantic towards the UK.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the Russian aircraft were escorted until they were clear of the UK area of interest. At no time did they cross into UK sovereign airspace, he added.

It is the latest in a number of incidents in recent months in which Moscow has sent planes skirting the edge of British airspace in a legal but provocative move amid worsening international relations.

Russia and Egypt reject FBI offer of help in crash probe

A piece of wreckage from the crash on the Sinai peninsula Credit: Maxim Grigoryev/Photas/Tass/Press Association Images

Neither Egypt nor Russia has accepted an offer of help from the FBI to investigate the crash of Metrojet flight 9268 at the end of last month.

The plane crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on 31st October shortly after takeoff.

FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said the bureau had offered "forensic assistance" and other unspecified services to both Russia and Egypt.

Russia 'sends missile systems to Syria'

Russia has sent missile systems to Syria to protect its military forces there, Reuters reported.

Colonel General Viktor Bondarev, head of Russia's air force, said fighter jets could be hijacked in countries neighbouring Syria and used to attack Russian forces.

"We have calculated all possible threats. We have sent not only fighter jets, bombers and helicopters, but also missile systems," Bondarev told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"We must be ready."


Assad meets Putin in Moscow for talks on Syria crisis

Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad meet for talks in Moscow. Credit: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad discussed the fight against Islamic State during a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.

The Syrian President flew to the Russian capital for the talks, during which President Assad thanked President Putin for his military support.

The visit is believed to be Assad's first foreign trip since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011.

Russia has faced criticism since it began its bombing campaign in Syria last month, with some claiming Mr Putin is more concerned with propping up Assad than defeating Islamic State.

The Russian President has said their aim is to "stabilise the legitimate authority" of Assad.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said it was important to ensure Assad stopped carrying out "indiscriminate" attacks on his own people.

US and Russia defence officials hold video conference

The Pentagon says defence officials from the America and Russia held a 90-minute video conference call to discuss safe flight operations over Syria.

The discussions were professional and focused narrowly on the implementation of specific safety procedures.

Progress was made during the talks, and the US agreed to another discussion with Russia in the near future.

– Department of Defense statement
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