Terrorists ‘stick to Turkish border’, Russia to continue targeting them – Kremlin
Russia is not considering stopping airstrikes on terrorist targets close to the Turkish border after the downing of its plane by Turkish fighter jets, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“There is no such legal term ‘further from the Turkish border’. There is the term ‘Syrian airspace’. We would be happy if terrorists kept further from the Turkish border, but unfortunately they tend to stick just next to it,” he said.
He added that Russia still wants to form a wider coalition to fight against terrorism in Syria, but doubts that Turkey would commit to such an effort.
“As far as Turkey is concerned, one may doubt such cooperation would be possible, at least at the current phase. But of course this doesn’t apply to other members of the [US-led] coalition,” Peskov said.
He said the Russian and Turkish leadership haven’t been in contact with each other since the Su-24 bomber was shot down on Tuesday.
“It [dialogue] is non-existent at the moment,” the spokesman told journalists.
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday as it was conducting a combat mission in Syria near the Turkish border. Ankara claims the attack was a justified response to the violation of Turkish airspace. Russia has denied any violations and branded Turkey ‘an accomplice of terrorists’ over the incident.
The downing of the Russian warplane shows the world Turkey’s support of terrorism, which has been going on for years, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said after a meeting with Sergey Naryshkin, the speaker of the Russian parliament.
Turkey violated Syrian airspace while engaging the Russian warplane, he said.
The Syrian minister added that the shooting of a Russian pilot parachuting to the ground by a group of Turkish-backed militants is a war crime.