Russian fighter jet downed by Turkey’s F-16 jets near Syria border: live updates
The Middle East saw things becoming serious today as Turkey downed a fighter jet belonging to Russia. Turkey said it warned the plane at least ten times before two F-16 fighter jets shot down the Russian fighter jet. The Turkish military said it followed the rule of engagement before downing the jet that had strayed inside its territory.
The two nations had sparred last month too over Russian fighter planes entering the Turkish airspace. Turkey had warned Russia of serious consequences if similar incidents recur in future.
With the drowning of the fighter plane, things seem to have become very serious. Following the incident Russia condemned the downing of a warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border but refused to comment further after Ankara said it had shot down the plane. â€œIt is a very serious incident,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “It would be wrong to make some assessments, proposals or announcement when we don’t have the full picture.”
Latest reports suggest that the plane that fell in Syrian territory is Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet. The Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet is an all-weather attack Russian-made supersonic jet operated by two pilots. It is armed with laser-guided missiles as well as three gun pods capable of firing 9,000 rounds per minute. It is also armed with guided air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs, cluster bombs and incendiary bombs.
In a statement Turkish military said the plane violated Turkish airspace in Hatay province and was warned “10 times in five minutes”. “Our two F-16 planes on air patrol duty intervened in the plane in question on November 24, 2015, 9:24am, according to the rules of engagement,” the statement said.
Meanwhile a report by Doha, Qatar based Al Jazeera says that rebel fighters have told the TV station that bodies of both pilots have been recovered. It is also reported that Russian helicopters were searching for the pilots close to the Turkish-Syrian border.