Putin Says Turkey Downed Jet to Protect ‘Oil Trade with ISIS’
PARIS—Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday accused Turkey of deliberately downing a Russian fighter jet last week to protect what he called Turkey’s “oil trade with ISIS,” reported the TASS news agency.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Climate Summit in Part, Putin said that Moscow has grounds to suspect that the Su-24 was downed by Turkish jets on November 24 to secure illegal oil deliveries from Syria to Turkey by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Da’esh.
“At the moment we have received additional information confirming that oil from the deposits controlled by Islamic State militants enters Turkish territory on an industrial scale,” said Putin. “We have every reason to believe that the decision to down our plane was guided by a desire to ensure security of this oil’s delivery routes to ports where they are shipped in tankers.”
Putin, who called the downing of the jet a “mistake” by Turkey, said that he addressed the issue and presented details to all world leaders with whom he met during the Paris talks.
The Russian leader said that most of those leaders “at least share the opinion that there was no need to attack the unprotected Russian bomber, which was of no threat to Turkey.”
Speaking to reporters in Paris, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied the Putin allegations, saying that he would resign if they were true.
Turkey has maintained that its decision to shoot down the plane was justified by claiming that it was violating its airspace. Official Moscow immediately released video footage suggesting that the plane did not cross Turkish airspace, an account verified by one of the rescued pilots.