Officials in Moscow started on Friday (December 18) analysing the black box of a Russian fighter jet downed by Turkey last month near the Syrian border.
Russia invited journalists and foreign diplomats to witness the opening of the flight recorder.
DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) December 18, 2015
The data recovered is expected to be released on Monday. Russia insists it will show that the SU-24 jet, on a bombing mission in Syria, did not violate the airspace of neighbouring Turkey, as Ankara claims.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the downing of the plane a “stab in the back” possibly motivated by Turkey’s desire to please the United States and its NATO allies.
Oh for God's sake. “Don't know if Turks wanted to lick the Americans in one particular spot.” Applause follows. #PutinPresser— Natalia Antonova (@NataliaAntonova) December 17, 2015
The November 24 incident has strained traditionally warm relations between Russia and Turkey, and Putin said it was now “practically impossible” to overcome these tensions.
One of the two pilots, who managed to eject from the plane after it was hit by a Turkish missile, was killed by Syrian rebels on the ground. The second pilot was rescued.
The Russian bomber jet crashed in a mountainous region largely populated by Turkmen — Syrians of Turkish descent.