Assad: Turkish Downing of Russian Jet Was Aggression Against Damascus
15:45 31.03.2016(updated 16:04 31.03.2016)
Bashar Assad said that Turkey's attack against a Russian aircraft in Syrian airspace can be considered aggression against Syria itself.
DAMASCUS (Sputnik) – Turkey's attack against a Russian aircraft in Syrian airspace can be considered aggression against Syria itself, the country's President Bashar Assad told Sputnik.
"He [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] has sent Turkish militants to fight in Syria, this continues still. The attack on a Russian aircraft in Syrian airspace is also aggression against Syria, as the aircraft was in its sovereign airspace," Assad said.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is directly supporting terrorists by allowing them to enter its territory, Syrian President said.
"First of all, he directly supports terrorists. He allows them to move into Turkish territory, to carry out maneuvers with tanks. This concerns not only individuals, he finances them [terrorists] through Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and through Turkey itself, of course. He trades oil that has been stolen by Daesh, at the same time carrying out artillery attacks against the Syrian army when it moves close in order to help the terrorists," Assad said.
Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia, have "crossed all possible red lines, possibly from the first weeks of the Syrian war," according to the president.
"Everything they have done from the very beginning can be considered aggression. Aggression in a political sense or in a military sense – providing terrorists with arms – or direct aggression with the use of artillery, and other military violations," Assad stated, adding that the Syrian people lost hope "a long time ago" that Erdogan would change his ways.
"Today, the war against Erdogan and against Saudi Arabia is a war against terrorists. The Turkish army, which is not even Turkish, is Erdogan's army that is fighting today in Syria. They are terrorists and when we attack these terrorists in Syria, this leads to Erdogan's direct defeat. Our response must be, first and foremost, within our own country. After that, I believe, we will be able to defeat terrorism. The Turkish people is not against Syria, not hostile toward Syria. Relations will be good if Erdogan does not interfere," he concluded.
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