WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov said that Turkey has played an "ambiguous" role in the campaign against the Islamic State while acting as an accomplice to the terrorist group’s activities.
"Turkey’s role has not been ambiguous — it has overtly supported the Islamic State," Phillips, currently Director of Columbia University’s Peace-building and Rights Program, told Sputnik on Wednesday. "It has provided logistical support, money, weapons, transport and healthcare to wounded warriors."
Phillips explained that Turkey has been supporting the Islamic State to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power and because of a "spiritual bond" that exists between Turkey’s governing party and the jihadists.
"When the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey says women shouldn’t smile or laugh in public because it draws attention to themselves, that is something you would expect from [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr] Baghdadi," Phillips added.
Phillips also said that Russia’s support for Assad has not been helpful to resolving the problem, and he is not surprised that Russia and Turkey ended up in a live fire incident considering their conflicting goals.
On Tuesday, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft operating in Syria, which Russian President Vladimir Putin described as a stab in the back carried out by accomplices of terrorists.
Russia commenced precision airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad, and has destroyed more than 3,000 terrorist targets.