Lavrov: Downing of Russian warplane will not pass without a response

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that terrorists are using Turkish territories to launch attacks in Syria and in other states, and that Russia will revise its relations with Turkey following the downing of the Russian warplane.

In a press conference held in Moscow in Wednesday, Lavrov said that the downing of the Russian warplane by Turkey over Syrian territories also requires revising the military structure of the Russian presence in Syria, and that Russia will not let this incident pass without a response.

He explained that the area where the plane was shot down contains bases and weapons and ammo depots for terrorists, and that the downing of the warplane is linked to the Russian airstrikes on oil refineries and storage facilities used by ISIS.

Lavrov said that Ankara tried to explain its actions by claiming that the Russian plane had entered the Turkish airspace for 17 seconds, adding that prior to the commencement of the Russian aerial operations in Syria, there had been direct contact between Russian and Turkish defense centers, but the coordination between the two centers has never been put to use, not even during Tuesday’s incident, which raises many questions.

The Minister described the incident as an act of provocation, noting that everyone saw the videos broadcast of the downing of the plane and said this could have been a planned act, despite the Turkish claims to the contrary, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin had put forth a number of elements on Tuesday that are being analyzed.

He explained that the NATO didn’t apologize nor did it express regret over the downing of the Russian warplane, which makes it seem as if it’s trying to cover up the incident, adding that the EU’s reaction was similar.

“We have received information that in certain areas of Turkey, where terrorists feel at home, there is even an established market for human organs which are smuggled by terrorists from Syria, and those are body parts of the murdered Syrians.” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said after canceling his planned visit to Istanbul that Moscow doesn’t indent to send any senior officials to Turkey or receive any senior Turkish officials.

“We cannot fail to react to what happened. Not because we must retaliate. It’s just that there are too many issues in Turkey that pose a direct terrorist threat to our citizens. And not only ours,” he said, He pointed out that the problems at the Turkish-Syrian border could be solved by simply closing it, as suggested by French President Francois Hollande during his meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington.

Regarding the political process for resolving the crisis in Syria, Lavrov reiterated calls for agreeing upon the “opposition” delegation and making lists of terrorist organizations that will not be included in the ceasefire as per the Vienna agreements.

Hazem Sabbagh/Manar al-Frieh/Manal

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