Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moallem said Turkey is not happy with the progress the Syrian Arab Army made with the help of Russia. He called Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian aircraft as a war crime.
Al-Moallem, who is also the foreign and expatriates minister, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dreams in northwest Syria were shattered by the Assad army’s progress on the ground. It also shows the whole world Turkey’s support for terrorist groups, he said.
According to Al-Moallem, there is complete coordination between Syria and Russia regarding matters related to fighting terrorism, SANA reported. He said Russia was able to outdo the U.S.-led coalition in counterterrorism efforts. Russia has done in two months what the United States could not do in 18 months, he added.
The Russian minister held a meeting with Speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin. He explained to the Russian diplomat that the combined effort of Damascus and Moscow destroyed hundreds of fuel tanks, command centers and depots while destroying more than a thousand tankers of stolen Syrian oil.
Al-Moallem said progress by Syria and Russia against Islamic State militants had made Ankara angry, which eventually resulted in shooting down the Russian Su-24. He said such behavior from Turkey had not come as a surprise.
Turkey earlier released an audio recording to prove its claim that its authorities had warned the Russian pilots multiple times before gunning the warplane down.
"You are approaching Turkish airspace, change your heading," the warning message in English says.
The Turkish armed forces said the warnings had not been issued by pilots but by the Diyarbakir airbase, Al Jazeera reported. The rescued Russian pilot, however, said there was no warning.
"I could perfectly see on the map and on the ground where the border was and where we were," Konstantin Murakhtin told Russian journalists in Syria.