Ankara has been supporting terrorism and "backstabbing" Damascus for five years, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said commenting on the downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria by the Turkish Air Force on November 24.
"We agree with Russian President Putin's words that it was a stab in Russia's back. And we have been saying for five years that Turkey helps terrorists due to ideological reasons, which means they have been backstabbing us everyday for five years."
Military cooperation between Moscow and Damascus has led to the start of the countdown to the destruction of terrorists in Syria, Muallem added prior to talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Friday.
“I can confirm that thanks to the military cooperation between Russia and Syria, the countdown has begun toward the destruction of terrorists in our country.”
The Syrian top diplomat praised the efficiency of the Russian counterterrorist campaign. Russian Aerospace Forces have done 100 times more than the US-led coalition, Walid Muallem said.
“I can confirm that thanks to the help and efforts of Russia’s Aerospace Forces, the Syrian Army has been able to make incredibly more progress on the battlefield since the Russian Aerospace Forces have been able to do 100 more times as much in a short time than the US-led coalition, which has still not been able to stop the spread of the Islamic State in our country.”
Meanwhile, Moscow believes that Ankara "crossed the line" by downing Russia's Su-24 Fencer bomber over Syria and this could put Turkey in a very difficult situation, Sergei Lavrov said.
"We believe that the Turkish leadership crossed the line and is risking putting Turkey in a very difficult situation, from the point of view of long-term national interests and from the point of view of the situation in the region," Lavrov said.
The Russian foreign minister added that Moscow gave special meaning to joint actions with Damascus in the current stage in the fight against terrorism.
“We give special meaning to the tight coordination and joint actions with the government of the Syrian Arab Republic on the current, extremely crucial stage in the decisive fight against terrorism, as well as progress on the political settlement in the interests of all Syrians without exception,” he said.
Lavrov said Russia will continue supporting Syria in its struggle against terrorism.
Earlier on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Syrian Armed Forces were the only real power that could tackle the Islamic State jihadist group and other terrorist organizations operating in Syria on the ground.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011. The government forces are fighting a number of opposition groups and militant organizations, including Nusra Front and ISIL, occupying vast territories of the country.
On September 30 Russia commenced a military operation against ISIL terrorists in Syria at the request of President Bashar Assad.
On November 24 a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria. Moscow and Damascus confirmed that the aircraft had not violated the Turkish airspace. One of the pilots was killed by fire from the ground, and the second was rescued.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin called the incident "a stab in the back". Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara would not apologize for its actions.