Russian President Vladimir Putin has commented on the attack on the Russian Su-24 bomber aircraft that was shot down above Syria by the Turkish Air Force. During the meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Putin said said that the Russian plane was shot down by Turkish fighter aircraft. Putin described the actions of the Turkish authorities as a "stab in the back" from "supporters of terrorists."
According to Putin, the Russian aircraft was shot down by air-to-air missile, launched by Turkish F-16 fighter jet at the time when the Russian aircraft was one kilometer away from the Turkish border. The Russian president added that the Russian Su-24 did not threaten Turkey in any way, but was conducting operations against the Islamic State terrorist group.
"Our planes were conducting the operation to combat ISIL in the north of Latakia - in the mountainous area, where militants, mostly natives of the Russian Federation, are concentrated. In this sense, the planes were executing the direct assignment of striking preventive blows on terrorists," Putin said.
"The crash of the Su-24 goes beyond the framework of the anti-terrorist struggle. This a stab in the back of the Russian Federation from accomplices of terrorists", President Putin said. "Russia will not tolerate such crimes as the attack on the Russian Su-24," he added.
Putin accused Turkey of cooperation with terrorists. "We have long established the fact that Turkey receives large quantities of oil and oil products from the terrorist-captured Syrian territories. This is where large cash flow come from to feed illegal armed groups. Now we have been stabbed in the back - our planes came under attack, our planes that struggle against terrorists, even though we have signed an agreement with our American partners for the prevention of incidents in the air," Putin said.
"Turkey, as we know, is among those, who announced that they are supposedly fighting terrorism as part of the US-led coalition," said Putin.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry has rejected previous reports that said that the Russian bomber plane may have violated Turkish airspace.
The Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down as it was returning to Hmeymim airbase in Syria, officials with the department said.
"Russian military aircraft Su-24, when returning to Hmeymim airbase, was shot down by Turkish fighter F-16 on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic. The analysis of the objective control data clearly showed that there was no violation of Turkish airspace made," Defense Ministry officials said in a statement.
"The Defense Ministry confirms that the plane was staying only above the territory of Syria during its entire flight time. This is registered by means of objective control," a representatives of the Ministry said.
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