In a meeting with King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said: “today’s loss is a result of a stab in the back delivered by terrorists’ accomplices,” referring to the Turks downing a Russian jet resulting in the death of two Russian pilots.
He reiterates that the Russian jet was one kilometre away from the Turkish border within Syria flying at an altitude of 6,000 metres. It fell four kilometres from the Turkish border.
The pilots ejected safely but were shot down by Turkmen militants who then retrieved the bodies.
Putin explains the mission the pilots were undertaking.
“They were conducting an operation to fight ISIS in northern Latakia – a mountainous area where militants, mainly those coming from the Russian Federation, are concentrated. In this sense, they were doing their direct duty delivering preventive blows at terrorists who could return to Russia at any moment. Those people should certainly be classified as international terrorists,” he says.
More revealing, Putin exposes the Turkish and ISIS oil connection. He notes the movement of oil from ISIS-occupied areas to Turkey and how it is funding the terrorist group.
“If ISIS is making so much money – we are talking about tens or maybe even hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars – in oil trade and they are supported by the armed forces of an entire state, it is clear why they are being so daring and impudent, why they are killing people in such gruesome ways, why they are committing terrorist attacks all over the world, including in the heart of Europe,” Putin states.
Putin also revealed that today’s events would have a “significant consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.” He did not expand further on what these consequences could be.
Although Russia and the United States have opened greater dialogue to prevent air tragedies in Syria, he questions why Turkey as a fellow NATO member and key US ally has not acted in suit. He describes Turkey’s behaviour as “stabbing us in the back by hitting our planes that are fighting terrorism.”
P. Antonopoulos is currently a Candidate for an MA Degree, writing his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War.
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