The following is an excerpt from PATRICK REEVELL | November 24, 2015 | abcnews.go.com |
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” and warned of “serious consequences” after Turkish military jets today shot down a Russian fighter plane close to the border between Syria and Turkey.
The Russian Su-24 jet was hit by rockets fired from Turkish F16s as it conducted airstrikes on militants in northwest Syria. Turkish officials have said the plane violated Turkey’s airspace and that its jets had warned the Russian plane repeatedly to leave.
“Today’s losses is connected with a blow, that was delivered as a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists. I cannot qualify what happened today in any other way,” Putin said during a televised meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan.
Putin insisted the Russian plane was operating less than a mile inside the Syrian side of the border when it was hit and Russian officials have said it never crossed into Turkish airspace. Putin said the plane had been striking ISIS militants and had posed no threat to Turkey, which he said was “an obvious fact.”
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