US: Downed Russian Jet Violated Turkish Airspace
by VOA News November 30, 2015
The United States has evidence from its own sources and from Turkey that the Russian jet shot down on the Turkey/Syria border last week violated Turkish airspace, a U.S. official said Monday.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters in Washington that the available information indicates the Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace. Trudeau added that 'we also know that the Turks warned the Russian pilots multiple times before the airspace violation to which the Turks received no response.'
Russia has insisted that the plane never left Syria. It crashed into a rebel-held area in northern Syria.
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday his country will not apologize for shooting down a Russian fighter jet last week along the Turkey-Syria border.
He told reporters after a meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels that Turkish forces did their 'duty' to protect the country's airspace.
Davutoglu also said he hoped Russia would reconsider economic sanctions that President Vladimir Putin announced in response to the incident.
The sanctions would restrict Russian imports of some Turkish products, prohibit extensions of contracts for Turks working in Russia and impact the operations of Turkish companies in Russia.
The Russian government announced Monday that a ban on fruit and vegetable imports from Turkey will go into effect in several weeks.
At a news conference in Paris later on Monday, Putin claimed Moscow had received 'additional information' confirming that 'enormous amounts' of oil extracted by the Islamic State group in Syria have been shipped to Turkey.
The downing of the Russian jet, he said, was dictated by the desire to 'ensure the security' of the routes for such shipments 'to the ports where they are loaded onto tankers.'
The Russian president also confirmed he did not meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the climate change summit. The Turkish president said Friday he hoped to meet his Russian counterpart 'face to face' on the sidelines of the Paris summit.
Pilot body returned
The body of one of the pilots left on a flight from Ankara back to Russia on Monday. Russian and Syrian forces rescued the plane's second pilot, while another Russian soldier was killed during the rescue effort.
On Monday, the Russian military said Su-34 bombers had for the first time flown a mission in Syria armed not only with bombs, but with air-to-air missiles 'for protection.'
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