President Putin says this is a “stab in the back, by terrorist supporters”
A Russian SU-24 “front line” bomber has been downed by the Turkish air force. Turkey says the Russian bomber had entered Turkish airspace before being downed.
A Turkish military official was quoted as saying, F-16s shot the plane down and that the pilots of the Russian jet were given repeated prior warning. A Moscow official said that the jet was over Syria “at all times” when it was downed one kilometer from the border.Both Russia and Turkey say they have information refuting each others claims.
Various sources are saying the jet was downed over hostile territory within the borders of Syria. Reports have said at least one pilot has been captured by Turkmen forces which are closely connected to Turkey.
We will keep you updated as information continues to come in.
*Update* It now seems that one of the two pilots which ejected from the plane was shot at by Turkmen forces while parachuting down to ground, he was tracked down and shot point blank. An unconfirmed video is circulating which we will provide the link to below:
*Update* Russian citizens have been warned about visiting Turkey as political relations sour, this will deal a big blow to Turkeys tourist industry. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has cancelled his trip to Turkey it has been confirmed.
*Update* Reports that a high-ranking member of the Turkmen militia has said both Pilots were shot and killed by his men, but so far this is still unconfirmed. It’s becoming more and more likely that at least one of the pilots was killed by the Turkmen militia.
*Update* Russian parliament has proposed to terminate all flights to Turkey. Should this motion be passed it will deal a big blow to Russian tourism in the country, which is a big income for the Turkish government.
*Update* U.S. military spokesman said the situation we see today with the downing of a Russian bomber is between Ankara and Moscow. “This is an incident between the Russian and the Turkish governments. It is not an issue that involves the [US-led coalition operations]. Our combat operations against ISIL (IS, ISIS) continue as planned and we are striking in both Iraq and Syria,” Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led Combined Joint Task Force, is cited as saying by Reuters.
*Update* FSA-affiliated group claims to have shot one of the two Russian pilots, they will release the body only in exchange for prisoners held by the Syrian army.
According to a spokesman for the group they are searching the area for the second pilot.
*Update* A formal protest has been issued by the Russian Defense Minister to the Turkish military attache over the downing of a Russian jet over Syria.
“The Russian Defense Ministry immediately summoned the military attaché of the Turkish Republic and issued a formal protest concerning the actions of the Turkish air forces,” the ministry’s press service said.
He made clear that Russia seen this act as “unfriendly” and that all attempts to reach the Turkish side in emergency calls have failed. The Russian Defense Ministery said that their data shows there definitely was no violation of Turkish air space.
*Update* Here is the letter sent to the UN security council by Turkey,
*Update* A Kremlin spokesman made clear that Russian intelligence was clear that the Russian jet downed by Turkish F-16s was in Syrian airspace at the time of the incident.
The spokesman said that there was “anger & frustration” at Turkeys “unpredictable behaviour” , he said that the situation with the downed jet will not hamper Russias air campaign in Syria.
A Turkish official has said that the two downed pilots were still alive, “Our units, who received the information that the two pilots were alive, are working to get them from opposition rebels safely,” he said.
*Update* It was confirmed today by the Russian Ambassador to France that, the second pilot of the downed Russian jet was found safe and sound by the Syrian Arab Army. Another pilot and serviceman were killed both in the downing of the jet and during a rescue mission to find the two pilots.