By Rakesh Raman
Russian President Vladimir Putin was quick to react Tuesday accusing Turkey which shot down a Russian military aircraft on the border of Syria.
Putin called the Turkish action a “stab in the back,” adding that the attack was perpetrated by the forces that support terrorists.
Putin’s statement holds significance, as the U.S.-led coalition of 65 member countries including Turkey are trying to join hands with Russia to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorists in Syria.
Turkish officials said that the Russian plane Su-24 had violated Turkish airspace and ignored their warning.
Putin, however, argued that Su-24 was flying over the Syrian territory when it was hit by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16s.
The possibility of the U.S. involvement in the shooting down of the Russian plane cannot be ruled out, as the U.S. had agreed last month to the Turkish government’s request for support to secure the sovereignty of its airspace.
The first six of 12 U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle jet fighters arrived on Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Nov. 6 to conduct combat air patrols in Turkish airspace.
Meanwhile, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) – to which Turkey is a member – has stated that it is keeping a close watch on the situation and has called an impromptu meeting of the ambassadors in Brussels today.
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Photo courtesy: Kremlin