Russia to Turkey: Arrest Murderer of Downed Su-24 Jet Pilot

Russia to Turkey: Arrest Murderer of Downed Su-24 Jet Pilot
Thu Dec 31, 2015 09:15:26

Moscow has demanded the arrest of the militant that killed the pilot of the Russian fighter jet shot down by the Turkish military in November on the Syrian-Turkish border.

“We demand that the Turkish authorities take immediate steps to apprehend Alparslan Celik and his accomplices and bring them to justice for the murder of the Russian pilot,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement released on Wednesday.

A Russian warplane crashing in flames in northern Syria after it was shot down by a Turkish fighter jet on November 24, 2015, is seen in this still image taken from video.

On November 24, Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 bomber, which it claimed had entered its airspace. Russia strongly rejects the allegation.

One of the two pilots was killed by militants after parachuting from the plane while the other, held by the terrorists, was later freed in an operation by the Syrian army. A Russian marine was also killed in the search and rescue operation immediately after the downing of the plane.

Celik, who is a Turkmen militant and citizen of Turkey, had an interview with Turkish newspaper Hurriyet published on December 27, where he said he did not regret murdering the Russian pilot.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara have soured following the downing incident, with the Kremlin imposing a raft of economic sanctions against Turkey.

Zakharova, meanwhile, censured the publication of Celik's comments in a major Turkish newspaper, saying the move shows that the media outlet is a "platform where terrorists and murderers brag about their crimes and spread hate of Russia and the Russian people through nationalist ideology."

Celik's remarks implied an admission of his "direct involvement in the murder of the Russian pilot," she added.

In a separate development, Russia's Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that it has killed several leaders of Daesh Takfiri terror group outside their stronghold of Raqqah in Syria.

The attack was carried out after the ministry received a tip-off earlier this month about an upcoming meeting of Daesh leaders outside Raqqah. Russian forces afterward kept the area under surveillance for two days before a bomber targeted the meeting venue; Press TV reported.

S/SH

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