01:34 GMT09 May 2021
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    German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has lashed out at Turkey for this week’s downing of a Russian bomber over Syria close to the Turkish border, German media reported on Wednesday.

    “This incident showed that, based on statements from other countries in the region, there is a player in the region who is unpredictable and that is Turkey and not Russia,” Gabriel told the weekly newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

    He added that “Turkey has played a difficult role' in the Syrian conflict.”

    On Tuesday a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber crashed on Syrian territory four kilometers from the Turkish border.

    President Vladimir Putin later said that the plane had been shot down by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish F-16.

    The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Su-24 had not violated the Turkish border.

    Ankara, for its part, insists that the Russian plane had indeed strayed into the country’s airspace.

    Many leading European politicians have criticized Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  over Tuesday’s incident with the Russian military jet.

    On Tuesday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Turkey and Russia to exercise restraint and  act in a rational and prudent manner in the wake of the incident which he  labeled as “serious.”


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    unpredictable behavior, Russia bomber, German Vice-Chancellor, downing, Su-24, F-16 fighter jet, German government, Russian Defense Ministry, Sigmar Gabriel, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Germany
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