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Ex CIA Officer: NATO Criticized Turkey for Su-24 Downing

© AFP 2021 / JOHN THYSThe NATO emblem is seen before a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 22, 2013
The NATO emblem is seen before a defence ministers meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 22, 2013 - Sputnik International
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After the attack on the Russian Su-24 by the Turkish air force, NATO held an emergency meeting during which most of the officials condemned Ankara's actions and demanded guardedness from Turkey, according to former CIA and State Department official Larry Johnson.

Even though NATO's official reaction to the downing of Su-24 was neutral, heads of Defense Departments of the member states expressed deep concerns about Ankara's actions, Johnson said in an interview with RT.

"I was immediately concerned that NATO might buy into the insanity being demonstrated by Turkey," Johnson said. "Fortunately, the reports coming out of the NATO meeting indicate that several of the NATO ministers were asking Turkey: ‘What in God's name were you thinking?'".

According to Johnson, during the emergency meeting, NATO's officials said Turkey should have handled the situation differently, overall. He added that NATO is not so worried about going back to the days of the Cold War but fears that this kind of imprudence may lead to an actual war.

"The last thing we need is to have Russia and the West engaged in a war of some sort," he stressed, adding that there's no point in NATO's existence anymore. "We don' t understand the kind of very unfortunate signal it does send to Russia, because NATO's expressed purpose for existence is to counter a Russian invasion of Europe which Russia is not planning."

Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber takes off from Hmeymim Air Base in the Latakia province, Syria. - Sputnik International
Italian Foreign Minister Joins Calls for De-Escalation After Su-24 Incident
On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 bomber jet was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet in response to alleged violation of Turkish airspace and crashed in Syria, 2.5 miles from the Turkish border.

Putin described the Turkish attack as a "stab in the back" carried out by "accomplices of terrorists."

The Russian General Staff and the Syrian Air Defense Command confirmed that the Su-24 never crossed into Turkish airspace and was downed on Syrian territory.

Following the incident, Putin wondered why Ankara turned to its partners in NATO to discuss the issue, instead of immediately contacting Moscow.

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