The Russian Jet (dailymail)
Turkish military has shot down a Russian war plane near its border to Syria, Ankara and Moscow confirms. The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighter planes on Tuesday morning after violating the country's air space and ignoring nearly a dozen warnings, army officials said.
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However, Russia's Ministry of Defence claims the jet was in Syrian airspace, and was shot down from the ground. Footage shows the plane engulfed in flames as it comes crashing down in Syria's Turkomen Mountains, an area which has been the cause of recent tensions between Turkey and Russia.
The area is mainly populated by Turkmens - Syrians citizens, but ethnic Turks - and is the target of a current Syrian government offensive, where President Bashar al-Assad's ground troops are supported by Russian airstrikes.
The Turkish army said the pilots of the Russian jet had been warned 'ten times in the space of five minutes' before the plane was shot down.
Both pilots seen parachuting down-far right and far left (dailymail)
Both pilots ejected themselves from the jet and could be seen parachuting down to the ground, where one has been reported dead and the other captured by Syrian Turkmen rebels.
A video posted on Twitter by a man believed to be a Syrian-Turkmen rebel soldier, one of many groups fighting against the Syrian government who are not allied with ISIS, claims to show the captured pilot.
The Turkomen Mountains is controlled by several insurgent groups including al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, and the 2nd Coastal Division that consists of local Turkmen fighters.
Just hours before the Russian jet was shot down, Ankara called for a U.N Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmen areas in Syria.
Ambassador Andrey Karlov was warned during the meeting that the Russian operations could lead to serious consequences, the ministry said.It followed a summoning of Moscow's ambassador on Friday, when Ankara demanded an immediate end to the Russian military operation near the Syrian border saying the Russian actions did not 'constitute a fight against terrorism' but the bombing of civilians.
A Turkish military statement, issued before it was confirmed that the jet was Russian, said the plane entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province.
'On Nov. 24, 2015 at around 09.20am, a plane whose nationality is not known violated the Turkish airspace despite several warnings (ten times within five minutes) in the area of Yayladagi, Hatary.
'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 09.24am.'
Russia's Defence Ministry said in a statement that they are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet.
'The Ministry of Defence would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.'
The statement also claimed that the Sukhoi-24 had been shot down from the ground at the altitude of 6,000metres(3.73m).
Vladimir Putin's spokesman called the downing of the Su-24 warplane a 'very serious incident' but declined to comment further until more facts emerged.
'It is just impossible to say something without having full information,' said Dmitry Peskov.
Russia's government-run TV Zvezda claimed the warplane had been in Syrian airspace the entire time, which allegedly could be proven by 'control systems', a ministry spokesman said.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has spoken with the chief of military staff and the foreign minister about the developments on the Syrian border, the prime minister's office said in a statement, without mentioning the downed jet.
He has ordered the foreign ministry to consult with NATO, the United Nations and related countries on the latest developments, his office said.
Last month, Turkish jets shot down an unidentified drone that had also violated Turkey's airspace.Turkey and Russia have long been at loggerheads over the Syrian conflict, with Ankara seeking Assad's overthrow while Moscow does everything to keep him in power.