Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Russia jet SHOT DOWN by Turkey: Pilot 'killed' as Putin calls summit over 'serious' act

plane crashing
The plane crashed in Syria after violating Turkey's airspace, the country claims

The aircraft was shot down after it was warned 10 times in five minutes to leave Turkish airspace, a Turkish military official has said.

It was just over the Syrian border when it was downed by F16 Fighting Falcon jets belonging to Turkey, the official added

But the Russian Defence Ministry said the plane had not violated Turkey's airspace and was flying at an altitude of 6,000 metres.

NATO has announced it will be holding an extraordinary session at 4.30pm GMT after Turkey requested it following the incident.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called an emergency meeting in Russia over the downing of the jet and unverified sources have claimed Russia is currently sending a warship across the Dardenelles from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean.

Two pilots managed to eject from the jet and were seen landing with the help of parachutes.

The jet is reported to be a Russian Su-24 flown by a pair of Russian pilots, with one believed to have been captured by Syrian rebels from the Alweya Al-Ashar (Brigade of the 10th) which consists of Turkmen with strong links to Turkey.

Russia is currently fighting in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad's troops against the rebels and Islamic State (ISIS).

Sources say the brigade has now launched "a counter-offensive" against President Bashar and Russian troops in a bid to take back the Turkman mountains.

It is believed the other pilot died in the crash after footage was released by Syrian rebels appearing to show them crowding around a body saying "Allahu Akbar" - God is Great in Arabic.

Turkish presidential sources have said the jet was downed in line with the rules of engagement after violating the country's airspace and failing to heed warnings.

He said the pilot was warned 10 times before they deployed the F16s to shoot it down.

A government official said: "We are trying to identify the nationality of the plane."

Russia's foreign minister Sergy Lavrov was expected to land in Istanbul at 4.30pm today - the same time as the urgent NATO meeting - ahead of talks with the Turkish government tomorrow, but so far there is no indication he will be leaving Moscow soon as he is in meetings with Mr Putin.
jet going down
The jet was seen in a fireball of flames
The Kremlin called it a "very serious incident" but said it's too early to draw conclusions.

A statement said: "It would be wrong to talk about consequences and relations between Russia and Turkey at the moment."

Video footage shows a plane exploding in the air before the fireball fell onto a Turkmen mountain near a village on the northern Syrian side of the border.

British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said: "Clearly this is a serious incident but it wouldn't be wise to comment further until we have the facts."
aTurkish military have said it warned the Russia jet 10 times before it was shot down
aTurkish military have said it warned the Russia jet 10 times before it was shot down
One of the Russian pilots has been captured by Syrian rebels
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the warplane crashed in a mountainous area in the northern countryside of Latakia province and it was not immediately clear whether it was an aircraft from the Russian or Syrian air force.

The fate of the crew was unknown, the Observatory said, adding that there had been aerial bombardment in the area earlier, where pro-government forces have been battling insurgents on the ground.
crash mapTurkish military

The Russian fighter jet went over a small section of Turkey, according to the Turkish military
Turkey called this week for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighboring Syria, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the bombing of their villages.

Ankara has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.
About 1,700 people have fled the mountainous Syrian area to the Turkish border as a result of fighting in the last three days, a Turkish official said on Monday.

Russian jets have bombed the area in support of ground operations by Syrian government forces.
The plane was seen careering down then bursting into flames before smoke billowed from the crash
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's office said he had spoken with the chief of military staff and the foreign minister about developments on the border, but did not mention the downed jet.

He instructed them to consult with NATO and the UN on the latest developments on the Syrian border.
The two pilots were spotted parachuting down into the mountains
Russian helocopters searching for the missing pilots
Russian helocopters searching for the missing pilots
Turkey has continually warned Russia and Syria not to edge into their airspace, and has said them it would shoot any planes violating that.

In October, when Russian planes flew into Turkish airspace two days in a row, NATO - of which Turkey is a leading member - released a statement which said: "Allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. Allies also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behaviour.

"They call on the Russian Federation to cease and desist, and immediately explain these violations.
"Allies call on the Russian side to take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not take place in the future."

The Sukhoi SU-24 is a supersonic, all weather attack aircraft developed in Russia. The aircraft features avariable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its two crew.

It was the first of Russia's aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation and attack system.
A Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet takes off from the Hmeymim air base near Latakia, Syria

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