Turkey claims its F-16 jets shot down a Russian Plane after it violated the Turkish airspace. Turkish military officials reported that the Russian plane was repeatedly warned but in the end they had to resort to this measure after it did not pay heed to their ten warnings in five minutes. Video footage confirmed the same, a warplane on fire crashing into the hills of Latakia province. Russian defence ministry expressed that a Su-24 crashed on Syrian territory after it was hit from the ground and that its pilots managed to eject, they also contradicted that the plane navigated the Syrian border into the Turkish skies.
The Russian Defence Ministry broadcasted that pilots parachuted however Moscow had no contact with them. “We are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the jet” Russia said. “The ministry of defence would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian terrority throughout the flight.” CNN Turk,referring local sources suggested that one pilot was with the Turkmen forces in Syria and they are probing the whereabouts of the other pilot.
After Syria shot down a Turkish plane a few years ago, the rules of engagement have been changed and now all “elements” advancing from Syria towards Turkey are considered a threat and dealt therefore. On 20th of this month, Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov was called up by Turkey’s foreign ministry demanding that Russia should stop Syrian operations targeting Turkmen villages accusing that Russian exploits did not “constitute a fight against terrorism” but the bombing of civilians could lead to serious consequences.
Since September, Russian jets have flown multitude of sorties over northern Syria. Russia asserts they targetted only “terrorists’ but USA had formerly said that Russian strikes have hit western backed rebels and the actual intent of Russian air offensive in Syria was to assist President Bashar Assad and not to defeat ISIS.
The NATO coalition of which Turkey is also a member, declared it is keeping an eye on the situation “closely” and is in contact with Turkish authorities. An informational meeting of ambassadors is scheduled at 16:00 GMT in Brussels.