Putin calls Turkey's downing of Russian jet 'a stab in the back'

Furious Russian president refers to Turkey as "accomplices of terrorists," says plane came down 4 kilometers inside Syria's borders.

By REUTERS
November 24, 2015 15:16
2 minute read.

Putin says Turkey downing Russia's jet was 'stab in the back'

Putin says Turkey downing Russia's jet was 'stab in the back'

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

MOSCOW/SOCHI, Russia - President Vladimir Putin called Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet a stab in the back administered by "the accomplices of terrorists," saying the incident would have serious consequences for Moscow's relations with Ankara.

Speaking in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday before a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah, Putin said the downed plane had been attacked inside Syria when it was 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) from the Turkish border and had come down 4 kilometers (2.49 miles) inside Syria.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


That contradicted Turkey's assertion that the aircraft had been warned multiple times that it was straying into Turkish airspace before it was shot down.

"Today's loss is linked to a stab in the back delivered to us by accomplices of terrorists. I cannot qualify what happened today as anything else," said a visibly furious Putin.

"Our plane was shot down on Syrian territory by an air-to-air missile from an F-16. It fell on Syrian territory 4 kilometers from the Turkish border. It was flying at 6,000 meters, 1 kilometer from Turkish territory when it was attacked."
Video purporting to show Turkish F16s shooting down warplane

Putin said Russian pilots and planes had in no way threatened Turkey, but had merely been carrying out their duty to fight Islamic State militants inside Syria.

"We established a long time ago that large quantities of oil and oil products from territory captured by Islamic State have been arriving on Turkish territory," he said, saying that was how militants had been funding themselves.



"And now we get stabbed in our back and our planes, which are fighting terrorism, are struck. This despite the fact that we signed an agreement with our American partners to warn each other about air-to-air incidents and Turkey ... announced it was allegedly fighting against terrorism as part of the US coalition."

If Islamic State militants earned hundreds of millions of dollars from trading oil and enjoyed the protection of the armed forces "of entire governments" no wonder, said Putin, they behaved so boldly.

"We will of course analyze everything that happened and today's tragic events will have serious consequences for Russo-Turkish relations," he said.

Turkey is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Russians, and the two countries enjoy active diplomatic relations.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is due to visit Turkey on Wednesday, in a trip arranged before the incident, while Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit Russia for talks with Putin in December.

Putin expressed anger at Turkey's decision to convene a meeting of NATO to discuss the incident, suggesting Ankara should instead have swiftly tried to contact Moscow.

"It's as if we shot down a Turkish plane rather than them shooting down one of ours. What do they want? To put NATO at Islamic State's disposal? We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today."

Related Content

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
July 21, 2018
Khamenei backs blocking Gulf oil exports if Iranian sales stopped

By REUTERS