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Putin: Downing of Russian jet by Turkey a "stab in the back"

Video footage of the incident showed a warplane crashing onto a hill and two crew members apparently parachuting safely.

Updated 2.25pm

TURKEY HAS CONFIRMED that it shot down a Russian warplane, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings.

Russia is denying that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish skies.

This afternoon, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the incident would have “serious consequences” for ties between Turkey and Russia, AFP reports.

The shooting down of the plane was “a stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorists,” Putin said at a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Moscow, said AFP.

“We are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier today.

“The Ministry of Defense would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.”

Putin said the plane did not “in an way threaten Turkey”.

Nato has called an emergency meeting in Brussels over the incident.

Russia said the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey claimed that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it ignored several warnings.

The ministry said the pilots parachuted but added that Moscow had no further contact with them.

AFP reports that one was found dead by Syrian opposition forces.


Video footage of the incident showed a warplane on fire before crashing on a hill and two crew members apparently parachuting safely.

Turkey’s private Dogan news agency said two Russian helicopters, flying low over the Turkmen Bayirbucak region, searched for the two pilots.

A Turkish military statement said the plane entered Turkish airspace over town of Yaylidag, in Hatay province.

“The plane violated Turkish air space 10 times in five minutes despite warnings,” the army said in a statement, adding it was shot down at 0724 GMT “according to the rules of engagement”, said AFP.

Russia summoned the Turkish military attache in Moscow while Ankara summoned Moscow’s charge d’affaires to the foreign ministry.

“Everyone must know that it is our international right and national duty to take any measure against whoever violates our air or land borders,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador demanding that Russia cease operations in Syria targeting Turkmen villages, saying the Russian actions did not “constitute a fight against terrorism” but the bombing of civilians.

Ambassador Andrey Karlov was warned during the meeting that the Russian operations could lead to serious consequences, the ministry said.


Syrian troops have been on the offensive in the area that 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.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the warplane crashed in the Turkmen Mountains region 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 unidentified drone that it said had violated Turkey’s airspace.

Originally published 10.12am. Additional reporting - © AFP, 2015

Read: Brussels to stay on lockdown for a week as PM says attack threat still “imminent” >

Associated Foreign Press
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