Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet Near Border


A Russian jet has been shot down after allegedly violating Turkish airspace near the Syrian border.

The pilot was warned 10 times before being shot down by two Turkish F16 jets, according to the country's military.

An official said two planes approached the Turkish border and were warned before one of them was shot down, adding their information shows Turkish airspace was repeatedly violated.

However, Russia's defence ministry has said the Sukhoi Su-24 jet did not violate Turkish airspace and added it was downed by artillery fire.

The ministry also said that according to preliminary data the pilots managed to parachute out, but their fate is unclear.

TV footage broadcast in Turkey showed a plane going down in flames in a woodland area, with a long plume of smoke trailing behind it.

The warplane went down in an area known by Turks as "Turkmen Mountain" in northern Syria near the Turkish border, private broadcaster Haberturk said.

Separate footage from the country's Anadolu Agency showed two pilots ejecting from the jet before it crashed.

One of the pilots is in the hands of Turkmen forces in northern Syria, CCN Turk said, citing local sources.

Turkey's Dogan news agency said Russian military helicopters are now searching for the pilots.

A statement from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office said the leader has spoken with Turkey's military chief and foreign ministry about the incident.

The region the plane went down in has been the subject of a Syrian government offensive in recent days under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

Before the incident involving the Russian jet, Turkey had called for a UN Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in Syria.

Around 1,700 people have fled the mountainous area to the Turkish border in the last three days, a Turkish official said on Monday.

Last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest against the bombing of the villages by Moscow.

Turkey has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.


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