Turkey's downing of a Russian Su-24 jet was a provocation, intended by the country's government to sabotage the formation of a grand anti-ISIL coalition, according to French European Parliament Member Jean-Luc Melechon.
Turkey shot down the Russian plane on Tuesday, claiming that it violated the country's airspace. Melechon is a Left Party delegate in the European Parliament, who is also a former Minister in Jaques Chirac's government.
"The Turkish government is playing a very dirty game. On Friday and Saturday, Turkish bombings against the [Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK)] of Kurdistan resumed. Now, a Russian plane has been shot down," Melechon wrote on his Facebook page.
"What was this Russian plane doing? It was hitting our Daesh (ISIL) enemies! What threat did this plane present for Turkey? None. So it is a provocation of the Turkish government in order to break the coalition as it forms. The Turkish government is a very keen backstabber," Melechon added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Russia would consider French President Francois Hollande's proposal to close the Turkish-Syrian border to prevent the traffic of arms, fighters and funding to regions of Syria controlled by ISIL and other terrorist forces.