Russia accused the United States of leaking the flight path of their jet fighter that was recently shot down by Turkey.
“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 give this information to the Americans if they did not pass it along to the rest of the coalition?” Vladimir Putin
Did the U.S. leak that information?
The Independent reported that Putin said his country was still willing to work with the coalition against ISIS, but would proceed under that assumption that such an incident would not occur again. If it did, he said, “we would not need any such cooperation with any country.”
The Russian leader is no dummy. Relations between Moscow and Washington are already rocky – especially since they began airstrikes against the rebels Obama wants to back. But would the U.S. leak flight path information to Turkey’s radical leader? It is not beyond the realm of possibility, though it would be foolhardy to do that.
The downing of the Russian plane
The other Russian pilot from the downed plane was rescued by Syrian Special Forces and is now back at base, according to Sky News. The pilot who landed in jihadist territory was killed.
Putin demanded an apology from Turkey, and called any claims of warnings as “rubbish.” He signed a sanction package against Turkey yesterday. He also told Turkey that Russia would boycott their goods. Some reports say they will buy from Israel.
Russia has moved long range S-400 missiles to the Syrian border near Turkey, and it’s not likely just “saber-rattling.”
The tensions between the two nations are high at this point. Although Erdogan has not issued an apology, he did begin to strike a more moderate tone by saying they might have warned the plane “differently” if they had known it was Russian.