Repercussions over Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane are still being felt and now amplified, as Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is making a shocking accusation against the U.S. that is causing tensions to flare to new heights.
Putin is accusing the U.S. of aiding Turkey in its act of shooting down the Russian fighter earlier this week even, as both the Obama and Erdogan governments deny that there was any coordination at all behind the incendiary incident.
As the Daily Mail reports, the Russians are now threatening to launch economic sanctions against Turkey, but Moscow is also accusing the U.S. of informing the Turks about the flight path of the Russian jet that was brought down by a missile on Monday, November 23rd.
Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan, though, has warned the Russians against taking any further actions with regard to the incident, saying that they better “not play with fire.”
Erdogan has insisted that his forces never knew that the jet they shot down was a Russian plane until after the deed was done. The Turks say that the pilots refused to reply to radio calls for five minutes before being fired upon. The Turks claim they were well within their rights to defend themselves — and their countrymen on the ground — against an unidentified warplane they claimed was violating their airspace.
Naturally, Putin claims that his jet never crossed into Turkish airspace in the first place.
One pilot of the Russian Su-24 bomber was killed, perhaps by small arms fire from Syrian rebels as the pilot drifted to earth beneath his emergency parachute. The second pilot, though, was reportedly rescued by Russian forces on Tuesday. Putin confirmed that the surviving pilot, Captain Konstantin Murahtin, was found by the Russian military in a 12-hour-long joint operation with Syrian government forces.