Tue Nov 24, 2015 03:40PM
A combination picture taken from video shows a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border November 24, 2015. (Reuters Photo)
A combination picture taken from video shows a war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border November 24, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

Syria has condemned as a "new crime" Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet involved in anti-terror operation in the Arab country.

Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said on Tuesday that the shooting down of the Russian warplane was a "new crime" which will add to the previous atrocities committed by the militants and their foreign supporters.

Zoubi specified Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as the sponsors of the militants, saying they have spared no efforts in providing arm and finance to the terror group in Syria.

Syria's official news agency, SANA, meanwhile, quoted a military source denouncing Turkey's downing of the Russian jet over its territory as a "flagrant aggression against Syrian sovereignty."

The incident "demonstrates without a doubt that the Turkish government takes the side of terrorism," the source said.

'Radical move'

Meanwhile, President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman has also denounced Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet, saying the attack on the military assets of a country fighting against terrorists in Syria is nothing but a “radical measure.”

President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman

“Considering that the Russian air group is fighting against the IS (Daesh), then, of course, the attack is an extremely radical measure,” said Zeman on Tuesday, adding that the move could “only make the atmosphere worse.”

The comments came hours after Ankara announced that its aircraft had downed a Russian fighter jet after the warplane allegedly violated Turkey’s airspace. Russia denied the accusation that the bomber was flying in the Turkish airspace.

The Czech president said Turkey’s attack on the jet again fuels previously-raised suspicions that Ankara is supporting the terrorists in Syria. “Sometimes, a suspicion is voiced that Turkey is informally interacting” with Daesh, a Takfiri terrorist group operating in Syria.

Following the downing of the Sukhoi Su-24, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin described the move as a “stab in the back,” saying it will have “serious consequences” for Moscow-Ankara ties.

“Today’s loss is a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorism,” Putin said, adding that Turkey is helping finance Daesh through oil sales.

Reactions poured in over the incident with many Western leaders warning that such actions could further complicate the situation in Syria.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, appealed for “cool heads” during what he called a “dangerous moment,” while a United Nations spokesman in Geneva said the gunning down of the Russian fighter jet could complicate the war on terror in Syria.