Turkey struck down a Russian warplane Tuesday, declaring it had violated Turkish airspace and disregarded recurrent warnings. Russia dismissed that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish airspace.
“We are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet,” Russia’s Defense Ministry stated. “The Ministry of Defense would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.”
Russia mentioned the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey said that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it disregarded numerous warnings. The ministry reported the pilots parachuted but included that Moscow had no further contact with them.
Video clips of the event revealed a warplane on fire before crashing on a hill and two crew members seemingly parachuting safely.
Turkey’s private Dogan news agency reported two Russian helicopters, flying low over the Turkmen Bayirbucak area, looked for the two pilots.
A Turkish military record mentioned the plane entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province.
“On Nov. 24, 2015 at around 09.20 a.m, a plane whose nationality is not known violated the Turkish airspace despite several warnings (10 times within five minutes) in the area of Yayladagi, Hatary,” the military explained before the plane’s nationality was verified.
“Two F-16 planes on aerial patrol duty in the area intervened against the plane in question in accordance with the rules of engagement at 09.24 a.m.”
It stated the plane was warned 10 times within the time span of 5 minutes.
On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador stressing that Russia stop operations in Syria targeting Turkmen villages, expressing the Russian actions did not “constitute a fight against terrorism” but the bombing of civilians. Ambassador Andrey Karlov was cautioned during the meeting that the Russian operations could lead to considerable implications, the ministry stated.
Syrian troops have been on the offensive in the area that is operated by several insurgent groups which includes al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and the 2nd Coastal Division that is made up of local Turkmen fighters.
Rami Abdurrahman, who leads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, stated the warplane crashed in the Turkmen Mountains location in the coastal province of Latakia.
The Turkomen Mountains region has been subjected to a government offensive in recent days under the cover of Russian airstrikes.
Last month, Turkish jets shot down an unfamiliar drone that it mentioned had violated Turkey’s airspace.
Turkey modified its rules of engagement a few years ago after Syria shot down a Turkish plane. As outlined by the new rules, Turkey stated it would consider all “elements” springing up from Syria an enemy threat and would take action as necessary.
Subsequent previous allegations of Russian intervention into Turkish airspace, the U.S. European Command on Nov. 6 deployed six U.S. Air Force F-15 fighters from their base in Britain to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to help the NATO-member country safeguard its airspace.
The European Command explained the deployment was “in response to the government of Turkey’s request for support in securing the sovereignty of Turkish airspace.”
In October, NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, had cautioned Moscow it was courting “extreme danger” by sending aircraft into Turkish air space.