The recent statement released by Turkish officials revealing detailed information regarding all the sorties of the Russian Air Force in Syria showed that Turkey planned the attack on the Su-24 fighter jet on November 24, according to the Defense Ministry of Russia.
During a press briefing on Wednesday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov emphasized that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus was quoted by the media saying that Turkey receives data about Russian sorties in Syria from the United States.
According to Konashenkov, “These words of Numan Kurtulmus can be taken as Turkey officially admitting that they planned the deliberate attack on the Russian jet and the murder of Russian servicemen.”
He added that the Turkish General Staff knew precisely as to where and when the Russian Su-24 fighter jets would carry out their mission on November 24. Konashenkov pointed out that the Turkish fighter jet “treacherously fired a rocket” at their Russian counterpart.
Furthermore, Konashenkov said the United States is providing Turkey with military intelligence regarding the Russian operations in Syria under the memorandum of agreement signed by both countries.
Putin called Turkey as “accomplice of terrorists”
The relationship between Russia and Turkey deteriorated since the downing of the Su-24 fighter jet. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a “stab in the back” and accused the Turkish government as “accomplice of terrorists.”
Russia imposed economic sanctions against Turkey following the downing of the Su-23 fighter jet. The sanctions included a ban on agricultural trade with Ankara, cancelation of its visa-free regime for Turkish citizens, and suspending majority of bilateral projects.
Turkey refused to apologize and argued that it was compelled to shoot the Russian fighter jet because it violated its airspace and ignored repeated warnings. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his government has the duty and right to protect its land border and airspace. He pointed out that they conducted a “defensive action” and had no intention to escalate the situation.
Russia said a report by Amnesty International was full of “clichés”
On Wednesday, the Amnesty International released a report regarding the downing of the Su-24 fighter jet. According to Konashenkov, the report did not provide fact, but “clichés” and baseless accusations. He added that the most striking thing in the report was the use of words “seem” and “appear” when describing “Russian attacks.”
The report indicated that Russia failed to acknowledge conducting strikes that “killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction in residential areas.” Amnesty International said the report was based on the testimonies of eyewitnesses and videos “showing the aftermath of the attacks.”
The Amnesty International analyzed materials and concluded that the attacks were “identified as suspected Russian air strikes” and suggested that Russia “may have violated international humanitarian law and may, in some circumstances, constitute war crimes.”
Konashenkov said the report was composed of “continuous assumptions, without any evidence.”