Putin calls Turkey's downing of Russian jet 'stab in the back'
Updated: 2015-11-24 21:37
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Russia's Sochi on Nov. 24, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]
SOCHI, Russia - President Vladimir Putin called Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet "a stab in the back", saying the incident would have serious consequences for Moscow's relations with Ankara.
"When attacked in the air, the plane was flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters, one kilometer away from the Turkish territory," Putin said as he met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Russia's Sochi.
He said that the plane was shot down by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet in the Syrian airspace and the Su-24 fell in Syria 4km away from the Turkish border.
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.
"This event goes beyond the boundaries of fighting terrorism. It is a stab in the back from accomplices of terrorists," Putin said, according to live broadcast by Russian 24 TV channel.
Putin said that the incident would have serious consequences in the Moscow-Ankara relations as "Russia would not tolerate crimes like what happened today."
Earlier in the day, a Russian Su-24 crashed in Syria "allegedly because of gunfire from the ground," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
According to the Turkish military, the Su-24 had been warned 10 times in five minutes about its violation of the Turkish airspace, before two Turkish F-16 jets "interfered".
The latest statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Su-24 was shot down by a Turkish F-16 jet while returning to Syria's Hmeimim airbase, where a Russian airforce group for anti-terrorist strikes is located.
Insisting that analysis of readout data showed clearly no violation of the Turkish airspace, the ministry has already summoned the Turkish military attache in Russia.