ANKARA, July 13 (RIA Novosti)
- Bodies of Turkish Pilots of Downed Plane Found
- Assad Accuses Turkey of Meddling in Syrian Affairs
- Syria's Assad 'Regrets' Turkish Jet Downing
- Russia Ready to Share Data on Turkish Jet - Lavrov
- Turkey Deploys Anti-Aircraft Guns On Syrian Border
The General Staff of Turkey’s Armed Forces on Friday backed down from its previous claim that its fighter jet was downed last month by Syrian forces.
“The actual cause of the incident will be established after the plane wreckage is raised from the seabed,” the General Staff said in a statement.
"No traces of explosives or flammable products were found on the debris recovered from the sea."
According to some media reports, the F-4 Phantom probably crashed due to human error after the pilots failed to perform an evasive maneuver to avoid the Syrian missile.
Syria has insisted it engaged the F-4 Phantom "according to the laws that govern such situations" after it strayed into its airspace. Turkey says the plane was in international airspace.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi has said his country's forces may have mistaken the Turkish jet for an Israeli one.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.