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Putin: Turkey's claims it didn't know downed jet was Russian are rubbish

“The planes have identification signs and these are well visible,” Putin said.

PastedImage-10535 Source: Screenshot via Anadolu Agency/RT

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN has said that Russia had given prior information to the United States of the flight path of the plane downed by Turkey on the Syrian border.

“The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes’ flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time,” Putin said at a joint press conference with French counterpart François Hollande in the Kremlin.

Ahead of the Hollande talks, Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traded barbs, with the Russian leader saying he was waiting for an apology and Erdogan ruling out any such move.

Putin on yesterday dismissed as “rubbish” Turkey’s claim that it would not have shot down the jet if it had known it was Russian.

“They [our planes] have identification signs and these are well visible,” Putin said.

Instead of [...] ensuring this never happens again, we are hearing unintelligible explanations and statements that there is nothing to apologise about.

Putin has also accused Turkey of buying oil from the Islamic State jihadist group, whose financing heavily relies on the sale of energy resources.

Hollande and Putin have agreed to coordinate strikes against the so-called Islamic State group, but differences over Syria’s future are hampering efforts to bring Russia into a wider alliance to fight the jihadists.

Putin indicated France and Russia would swap data to help identify IS targets in Syria, as opposed to other groups opposed to the country’s leader, Bashar al-Assad.

Russia Mideast France Source: Associated Press

The two countries agreed to “exchange information about which territories are occupied by the healthy part of the opposition rather than terrorists, and will avoid targeting them with our airstrikes,” Putin said.

“The strikes against Daesh (IS) will be intensified and be the object of coordination,” Hollande said at a press conference after their 90-minute meeting at the Kremlin.

The agreement to focus on IS targets was the most concrete progress from the final leg of Hollande’s marathon push to weld together a broad alliance to crush IS after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.

- © AFP 2015

Read: Russian soldier killed while trying to rescue pilots in plane shot down by Turkey >

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