Russia’s president Vladimir Putin says the downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border is a “stab in the back carried out by the accomplices of terrorists”. Turkey says it had warned the aircraft repeatedly that it was violating Turkish air space although Moscow says the plane was flying over Syria. Jillian Kitchener reports.
HABERTURK TV/SYRIAN TURKMEN BRIGADE/ REUTERS/ HURRIYET WEBSITE/ SOCIAL MEDIA –
The Russian SU-24 fighter jet crashed into a woodland area near the Syrian border after being shot down by Turkish fighter jets.
The Turkish military says the aircraft had been warned 10 times in the space of five minutes that it was violating Turkish airspace.
But Moscow claims the jet had been over Syria the whole time.
This video, purports to show a Russian pilot dead on the ground, surrounded by fighters from a Syrian rebel group.
Russia’s defense ministry says the pilots were able to eject, although their location and physical condition were still to be determined.
This is the first time a NATO member’s armed forces have downed a Russian or Soviet military aircraft since the 1950’s.
Russian President, speaking ahead of a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, called the incident a – quote – “stab in the back carried out by the accomplices of terrorists”.
But Turkey says it was not targeting Russia per se, but that it shot down the plane to defend Turkey’s sovereign territory within its rules of engagement.