Russia says it has stepped up airstrikes against ISIL militants after the Kremlin accepted that it was a bomb that brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt last month killing all 224 people on board.
President Vladimir Putin visited the Russian Defence Ministry’s command centre on Tuesday evening and told his military to cooperate with France.
“Very soon a French navy fleet, headed by an aircraft carrier, will arrive in your area of operation,” Putin said. “You need to establish a direct contact with the French and work with them as allies.”
Putin has vowed to hunt down those responsible for the bombing of its airliner over Sinai, and its clear he has ISIL militants in mind since strikes in Syria have already intensified.
Until Tuesday Russia had played down the assertion from other Western countries that the plane was destroyed by an explosion.
But at a news conference in the resort of Sharm-al-Sheik where the downed passenger jet took off from, the Egyptian government was still hesitating to say there was anything wrong with its security procedures.
“When we discover that there was a security lapse we’ll take the necessary measures,” said the Interior Minister, Abdel Ghaffar. “However up until now there is no evidence there was any lapse in travel procedures or security inspections.”
But Egypt did say it would work with Russia to combat terrorism and increase international cooperation on the issue. As far as its own investigation is concerned it said it still had not reached a conclusion.