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Turkey shoots down Russian war plane; Putin calls attack “a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists”
Turkey — The Turkish government this morning has admitted to shooting down a Russian war plane that it said had invaded its air space.
This was carried in the British news The Mirror, but initially no Russian response was reported.
Later today Russian President Vladimir Putin called the attack “a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists.” He went on to say, “Today’s tragic event will have significant consequences, including for Russia-Turkish relations. We have always treated Turkey as a friendly state. I don’t know who was interested in what happened today, certainly not us. And instead of immediately getting in contact with us, as far as we know, the Turkish side immediately turned to their partners from NATO to discuss this incident, as if we shot down their plane and not they ours.”
After meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday morning, French President Francois Hollande is scheduled to meet with Putin Thursday.
Obama did not immediately address the issue of the air strike, but noted that he and Hollande have been hoping for increased cooperation from Russia in the fight against ISIS.
With major powers rushing to strike ISIS in Syria, air space could get confusing and result in the kind of reaction that would delight ISIS. Such blunders could turn major powers against each other — and ISIS might ignite World War III.
The U.S., Russia and France are currently conducting air strikes over ISIS dominated Syria — And there seems to be no head on the duck.
The terrorists have achieved their goal — They have our attention.
Washington, D.C. — On a more positive note, seventeen persons were honored today with Presidential Medals of Freedom.
The awards were announced by President Obama and presented late this afternoon at the White House.
Winning awards were: singer/actress Barbra Streisand, composer/producer Stephen Sondheim, movie producer Steven Spielberg, baseball stars Yogi Berra and Willie Mays, singer/dancers Emile Estifan and Gloria Estifan, EPA director Bill Ruckelshaus, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, Native American activist Billy Frank Jr., Japanese rights advocate Minoru Yasui, violinist Itzhak Perlman, singer James Taylor, Tragedy Assistance Program (TAP) founder Bonnie Carroll, and members of Congress Barbara Mikulski, Shirley Chisholm, and Lee Hamilton.
To view the full transcript of all remarks made during the ceremony Tuesday, click Transcript – Presidential Medals of Freedom 2015.