By John Helmer, Moscow
Never before has the personal animosity of the heads of state of the United States and Turkey towards the President of Russia been so sharp and expressed so obviously. The consequences, too.
The following statements yesterday by President Vladimir Putin explain.
At 1400h of Thursday, November 26, 2015 .
“I would like to remind you that it was the passive position of a number of countries, and often their direct collusion with terrorists that actually led to the rise of the terrible phenomenon known as the Islamic State. They not only cover up the terrorists, their illicit trafficking in oil, people, drugs, works of art and arms, but also benefit from it, making hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars.”
“I have to say that we find absolutely inexplicable the treacherous stabs in our back dealt by those we thought to be our partners and allies in the antiterrorist struggle. I am referring to the incident with the Russian bomber hit by Turkish air defence forces.”
At 2000h of the same day :
“Those who apply double standards when dealing with terrorists, using them to achieve their own political aims and engaging in unlawful business with them, are playing with fire. History shows that sooner or later such actions will backfire against those who abet criminals.”
“Look, we informed our American partners in advance when our pilots were going into action and where, in what air corridors. The American side, which leads the coalition, to which Turkey is also a party, knew about the location and time of our operation. And this is precisely where we were hit. The question is, why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they are not in control of what their allies are doing or they hand out this information every which way without understanding the implications.”
“We are ready to operate in a different format that would be acceptable for our partners. We are ready to work together with the US-led coalition. It goes without saying that incidents like the downing of a Russian jet and the death of Russian servicemen, a pilot and a marine trying to rescue his brothers in arms, are absolutely unacceptable. We assume that this won’t happen again. Otherwise, we don’t need such teamwork with anyone, with any coalition or any countries.”
“If Turkey is destroying it, we don’t see any smoke or flames from burning oil. Again, we’re talking about amounts on an industrial scale. A plant would have to be built to destroy that much oil. None of that is really happening. If top level leaders in Turkey know nothing about this, then tell them now. I admit that there may be some elements of corruption or collusion. Let them figure it out. However, we have no doubt about this oil going straight to Turkey. We can see it from the air: fully laden trucks go there and come back empty. Then again, they leave terrorist-held Syria for Turkey fully loaded, and return empty. We see it every day.”
“Regarding Turkey’s Air Force allegedly failing to recognise Russian aircraft, this is simply not possible! The aircraft have insignia that are clearly visible, indicating that they are Russian aircraft, not anything else. This is the first thing I wanted to say.
“Second, I’ve already said, and will say again: under our agreement with the United States, we have shared information on where our pilots will fly, at what flight levels, where and when. As we understand it, this is an operating coalition. Turkey is a part of this coalition. Thus, they should have been informed that the Russian Air Force was operating in the area. Who else could it be? How would they act if they knew it was an American jet? Would they hit it? This is all nonsense. These are just excuses. It’s highly regrettable that instead of seriously analysing this issue and making sure that such incidents never happen again, we are hearing inconclusive explanations and statements that they don’t have anything to apologise for. Anyway, this is Turkey’s choice, not ours.”