In an interview with Sputnik [a Russia propoganda site], former head of the Turkish General Staff’s Intelligence Department Hakki Pekin condemned Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian Su-24 bomber, describing it as a “big mistake.”
Pekin suggested that Russia’s response to the downing of the Su-24 will be very tough.
“Apart from sanctions, Russia also deployed its Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad in retaliation against NATO’s increasing activities. You have to understand that Russia has a very strong potential in this field,” Pekin said.
Russia could use the information on ISIL selling oil via Turkish territory in order to have Turkey convicted by the International Court in The Hague.
CNN reports tensions in the Middle East ratcheted up dangerously Wednesday, a day after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane, with the Turkish President accusing Russia of deceit and Russia announcing it would deploy anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said on his ministry’s Twitter feed that the country would deploy S-400 defense missile systems to its Hmeymim airbase near Latakia, on Syria’s Mediterranean coast.
The missiles have a range of 250 kilometers, according to the missilethreat.com website — or 155 miles. The Turkish border is less than 30 miles away.
And Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian TV on Wednesday that Russia has “serious doubts” that Turkey’s downing of its warplane Tuesday was “an unpremeditated act.”
“It looks very much like a planned provocation,” Lavrov said.
Turkey, a NATO member, said it had repeatedly warned the Russian warplane, shooting it down only after it ignored several warnings and violated Turkish airspace. Russia rejected that version of events, saying the Sukhoi Su-24 bomber was attacked 1 kilometer inside Syrian territory.
But Erdogan claimed parts of the downed plane had fallen inside Turkey, injuring two people.
Adding to the tensions were the fates of the two Russian pilots aboard the bomber.
Turkmen rebels operating in the area of Syria where the plane went down appeared to claim in a video that they shot both pilots to death as they parachuted toward the ground. CNN couldn’t independently confirm the claim.
The Russian military said it believed one of the pilots was dead. The Russian Defense ministry said Wednesday that the second pilot had been rescued and was safe.
The military also said a Russian marine was killed when a helicopter came under attack during the search-and-rescue efforts.