Putin says black box of downed jet will prove Russia’s innocence in air space violation
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu examine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on December 8, 2015, the flight recorder from the Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber which was shot down by a Turkish jet on November 24. (AFP/Mikhail Klimentyev)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country has recovered the black box of its downed warplane, saying it will prove the jet never violated Turkish airspace.
Putin made the remarks on Tuesday in a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, saying the data from the flight recorder of the Su-24 bomber will prove that the Russian warplane was in the Syrian airspace when it was attacked by Turkish F-16 fighter jets, the Sputnik news agency reported.
“As I understand, the flight data recorder will give us the opportunity to understand the Su-24's trajectory from the moment of its take-off to the moment of the crash,” Putin said.
“This means we will be able to understand where it was [at the moment of the downing] and where the treacherous strike from the Turkish Air Force was dealt,” he further noted, adding that the black box should be opened only in the presence of international experts.
He also thanked all Russian forces and Syrian troops who participated in operations for retrieving the black box.
Moscow and Ankara are locked in a war of words since November 24, when Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 fighter jet over Syria, claiming that it had entered Turkish airspace, an accusation strongly rejected by Moscow.
Of the two pilots aboard the warplane, one was rescued with the help of the Syrian army, but the other was wounded by militant fire while he was parachuting down and was killed on the ground.
Putin said that Turkey will regret "more than once" the downing of the Russian bomber, stating that Moscow will not turn a blind eye to Ankara's “aiding of terrorists.”
Moscow launched its air raids against Daesh and other militant groups in Syria on September 30, upon a request from the Syrian government.
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