Vladimir Putin is accusing the US of passing along the flight path of November 24’s downed Russian Su-24 jet to Turkey. The US and Turkey are allies under NATO, and the US has been supporting Turkey in maintaining its Syrian border.
Putin’s accusations come as Russian-Turkish relations continue to deteriorate following Tuesday’s incident that left one Russian pilot and another special forces soldier dead.
The Kremlin has announced a string of sanctions it is using to cut economic ties with Turkey. As The Guardian reports, Russia has advised all its citizens to leave Turkey, has forbidden Russian tour companies from selling packages to Turkey, and has enacted stricter visa requirements on Turkish citizens. 4.4 million Russians vacationed in Turkey last year, and the move will cost Turkey about $10 billion, The Guardian continued.
Russia has also placed an S-400 Air Defense Missile System at the Hmeimim airbase in Syria, Israel’s Ha’aretz said. The system is capable of hitting targets up to 250 miles away, and is positioned not 30 miles from the Turkish border.
The Daily Mail UK quotes AFP who spoke with an American official remaining anonymous. “It’s a capable weapons system that poses a significant threat to anyone. There are significant concerns related to air operations in Syria.”
As the war of words increases, Russia has accused Turkey of failing to stop ISIS from selling illegal oil into its country, thus funding the organization. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied the accusation and has even called it slander.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that US warplanes had bombed 116 ISIS oil trucks in Eastern Syria. The raid, which included French planes as part of a US-led coalition, sought to disrupt ISIS’ oil infrastructure.
The US has long rallied Russia, which is an ally of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, to join its campaign in Syria and help defeat ISIS.
Talks seemed to reach a hopeful turning point at this month’s G20 summit when Russia pledged its support, and again this week when French president Francois Hollande went to Moscow to speak with Putin.
However, as tensions between Russia and Turkey rise, Russian sentiment has backtracked. Putin called Turkey’s shooting of the Russian jet a “stab in the back”.
The Washington Post quotes Putin’s personal spokesman on Friday, November 27, saying, “At the moment, unfortunately, our partners are not ready to work as one coalition.”