TURKISH warplanes have shot down a Russian jet which they claim flew into the country’s airspace. The aircraft was shot down after it was warned 10 times in five minutes to leave Turkish airspace, a Turkish military official has said.
It was just over the Syrian border when it was downed by F16 Fighting Falcon jets belonging to Turkey, the official added
Ankara and the Kremlin gave conflicting accounts of the incident, which appears to have occurred in an area near the Turkish-Syrian border straddling Iskenderun and Latakia.
A government official said: “In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15km or less away from the border. The aircraft didn’t heed the warnings and proceeded to fly over Turkey. The Turkish air forces responded by downing the aircraft.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called an emergency meeting in Russia over the downing of the jet and unverified sources have claimed Russia is currently sending a warship across the Dardenelles from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean.
Two pilots managed to eject from the jet and were seen landing with the help of parachutes. The jet is reported to be a Russian Su-24 flown by a pair of Russian pilots, with one believed to have been captured by Syrian rebels from the Alweya Al-Ashar (Brigade of the 10th) which consists of Turkmen with strong links to Turkey.