November 27, 2015

They knew the exact time and the exact place': Putin accuses US of leaking flight path of doomed jet to Turkey

Russian president Vladimir Putin has accused the U.S. of being complicit in the destruction of its military jet two days ago - suggesting the Americans knew exactly when and where it was travelling.
In a press conference at the Kremlin tonight, Putin said the Russians had given prior information to the U.S. of the flight path of the plane - but the U.S. had 'leaked' the information to Turkey.
In other developments, Putin's dreaded S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems - mobilised in the wake of the jet's destruction - were photographed being unloaded from military transports in Syria.
He also vowed to join France in coordinating bombing campaigns against ISIS forces and agreed to share intelligence information. 

It is hoped the move will be the start of closer ties between Moscow and the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition following the Paris terror attacks - despite the animosity brewing over the downed jet.
Putin told gathered media: 'The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes' flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time.
'Why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they were not controlling what their allies were doing, or they are leaking this information all over the place.'
Ahead of the conference, Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traded barbs, with the Russian leader saying he was waiting for an apology and Erdogan ruling out any such move.
Putin has dismissed as 'rubbish' Turkey's claim that it would not have shot down the jet if it had known it was Russian.
'They [our planes] have identification signs and these are well visible. Instead of... ensuring this never happens again, we are hearing unintelligible explanations and statements that there is nothing to apologise about.' 
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin's feared S-400 anti-aircraft battalions have landed in Syria ready to destroy any threats to his airforce.
The surface-to-air missile systems are capable of striking down targets up to 250miles away and were instantly deployed to the region in the wake of Tuesday's confrontation.
Pictures emerged today of the state-of-the-art missile systems' arrival to the battlefields of Syria, while the war of words between Putin and Erdogan intensified.

The S-400s are based in Syria's coastal province of Latakia, just 30miles from the border with Turkey and are capable of striking targets a huge ranges with deadly precision.
Today Putin defended his decision to mobilise the weaponry after the attack by Turkey which he considered a betrayal.
In a joint press conference with Francois Hollande at the Kremlin, he said: 'We did not have those systems in Syria [previously] because we believed that our airforce was working at an altitude which would not be reachable by terrorists.
'They do not have this equipment capable of shooting down the aircraft at 3,000 to 4,000 metres.
'We didn't even think that we could receive a strike from a party that we thought to be our partner.
'If we thought of this before, we would have established the systems capable to protect our aircraft.
'The reason we didn't do this is because we thought Turkey to be a friendly country. We are our establishing our system S-400 which is capable of long range strikes and it is one of the most effective systems of this type in the world.' 
The S-400's range means its missiles could reach deep into Turkey or pose a potential threat to US-led coalition planes - adding yet another dangerous element to an already volatile mix of competing military interests in Syria.
'It's a capable weapons system that poses a significant threat to anyone,' a US official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP. 'There are significant concerns related to air operations in Syria.'
Accusations flung back and forth from both Russia and Turkey in the wake of the confrontation have further aggravated the situation.
  • Putin has accused the U.S. of being complicit in the destruction of its jet
  • The Russian jet was downed by Turkey after it entered Turkish airspace
  • He claimed Russia gave the U.S. the flight path data for the doomed aircraft
  • This was either 'leaked' or it 'does not control what its allies are doing'
  • Meanwhile, today Russia's fearsome S-400 missile systems arrived in Syria
  • Putin has also agreed to coordinate airstrikes with France against ISIS


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