MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova — After the downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter jet, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Moscow and Ankara to show prudence and common sense, stressing that the incident would not affect talks on Syria. At the same time, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls stressed that the crash demonstrated the necessity to coordinate fight against ISIL.
"Many NATO partners, especially, France even Germany would be embarrassed about the affair. They would not stand openly on the Turkish side because they don’t want to escalate relations with Russia and they do not want to tell their own people that they helped blowing up a coalition against ISIL which is particularly embarrassing for France now. These ideas are behind the official reaction of the bloc on the incident," Johannes Hubner, who is also a vice-chairperson of the Council of Europe’s Sub-Committee on Crime Problems and the Fight against Terrorism, stated.
On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 combat aircraft crashed in Syria 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Turkish border while carrying out precision strikes against terrorists. Moscow said it was downed by an air-to-air missile, fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter in response to alleged violation of Turkish airspace.
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, in accordance with precise objective control data.
Following the tragic event, NATO expressed solidarity with Turkey and offered support for Ankara saying that the Alliance's assessments of the incident were consistent with information provided by the country, which claimed that the Russian warplane had briefly violated Turkish airspace.
The bloc’s secretary-general also urged to keep calm and strive for de-escalation of tensions.
‘No Reason’ for Turkey to Down Russian Su-24 Jet Fighting Against ISIL
Turkey had no logical reason to shoot down a Russian jet on a mission against Islamic State militants, even if it had briefly violated Turkish airspace, Johannes Hubner said.
On Tuesday, a Russian Su-24 Fencer crashed in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the plane was downed by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish F-16 jet over Syrian territory, falling 2.5 miles from the Turkish border.
"There was no reason to down this plane even if had been a violation of the airspace. It was a very minor accident," Johannes Hubner said.
In a leaked letter to the UN Security Council after the attack, Turkey said the Russian bomber violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. Publicly, Ankara maintained it had warned the aircraft – of unknown nationality to the Turkish Air Force at the time – 10 times before shooting it down.
FPO’s Hubner said the attack was further puzzling given the common efforts against the Islamic State jihadist group.
"At least on the front, everyone is fighting ISIL and it is not understandable that they down a plane for violating airspace – a plane which is in some way part of the informal coalition against ISIL," he stressed.
Putin described the Turkish attack on the Russian Aerospace Forces bomber as a "stab in the back" carried out by "accomplices of terrorists."