Turkey shoots down Russian warplane near Syria

A Russian Su-24 aircraft (illustrative). Credit: Alexander Mishin via Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian military aircraft near the border with Syria on Tuesday after sending 10 warnings within five minutes to vacate the area.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Su-24 aircraft was flying over Syrian airspace when the plane was hit, but Turkish officials said the plane violated Turkey’s airspace. Putin said the the move by NATO member Turkey would have “serious consequences” for Russia-Turkey relations.

“This goes beyond the normal struggle against terrorism. This was a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,” Putin said, adding, “We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today.”

A deputy commander of a Syrian Turkmen brigade said that both pilots were “dead upon retrieval” after his men shot them while they parachuted to the ground, according to Reuters.

Knowing that the “skies are crowded” with military operations in Syria against the Islamic State terror group, Israel needs to “take safety measures” to avoid being dragged into the conflict, Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel recently told the Jerusalem Post.

Additionally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that Israel is working to avoid clashes with Russian forces in Syria. He told Putin in a phone conversation, “Let’s make sure we don’t shoot down each other and let’s make sure we’re coordinated. Their air defenses; our air power. We did that; what we call deconfliction.”

An emergency NATO meeting was scheduled to take place in Brussels on Tuesday.

Posted on November 24, 2015 .