The Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to take “extremely tough” action against any threat to its forces in Syria. He told defence officials in a television speech that such targets must be “immediately destroyed”. He didnt name Turkey specifically, even though the countriesÂ are currently locked in a spat over the downing of a Russian jet by Ankara.
Turkey said the bomber had entered its airspace, something Russia denies. A Russian pilot was killed in the downing of plane, as was a soldier that was sent on a rescue mission, badly damaging the close ties between Ankara and Moscow.Â Mr Putin warned against “further provocations” without naming Turkey directly.
Russia began air strikes in Syria in September, at the request of its ally President Bashar alÂAssad. In an update on Russian operations, Mr Putin said the military was now supporting Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces. There has been no confirmation from the FSA, who are fighting President Assad and have been bombed by Russia. The Kremlin has denied accusations by the USÂled coalition operating in Syria it often targets moderate Syrian opposition, rather than Islamic State (IS) militants.