MOSCOW – The Russian Embassy in London has requested the UK Foreign Office’s clarifications on media reports of the alleged British leadership’s decision to enable UK pilots participating in anti-ISIL coalition’s airstrikes to shoot down Russian planes over Iraq.
Earlier, a UK defense source told the Daily Star Sunday tabloid that British and NATO pilots reportedly had been given a clearance to shoot down Russian jets over Iraq.
UK defense sources stressed that RAF pilots have been told to avoid contact with Russian jets “at all costs,” but warned the pilots must be prepared to attack Russian jets “if their lives depend on it.”
“We are concerned by media reports as far as they refer to senior members of the Cabinet. We urgently requested UK Foreign Office’s clarifications. At the same time, the hypothesis itself of a potential conflict between British and Russian aircraft in the skies over Iraq is incomprehensible. As it is known, the Russian jets are not involved in attacks on ISIL targets on its [Iraqi] territory”, Russian Ambassador in the UK Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti.