Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter jet on the Syrian-Turkish border earlier today.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the plane had been shot down in Syria and had not violated Turkish airspace.
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They said the plane was flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters.
The Ministry said: “During the flight, the aircraft was flying within the borders of Syria, which was registered by objective monitoring data,” and adding that the aircraft was supposedly shot down from the ground.
#SYRIA Russian aircraft Su-24 crashed in Syria. According to the preliminary data, the pilots managed to eject from the warplane
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) November 24, 2015
It was originally reported that the pilots had managed to eject and their fate unknown.
But according to some social media reports one of the two Russian pilots is dead. Russian helicopters tried to evacuate both of them but were shot at from the ground by pro-Turkish militants.
One of 2 Russian pilots is dead. Russian helicopters tried to evacuate both of them but were shot at from the ground https://t.co/zIyUy2ueGN
— Yury Barmin (@yurybarmin) November 24, 2015
President Putin will be addressing a press conference late this afternoon to comment on the situation.
The downing of the Russian plane is “a very serious incident,” said Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. He added, however, that it is too early to draw conclusions until the whole situation is clear.
Footage has emerged online, allegedly showing Russian pilots from the downed jet immobile on the ground and surrounded by locals. Some reports claim that one pilot is dead.
— Habertürk TV (@HaberturkTV) November 24, 2015
Reports of a downed plane emerged earlier in Turkish media. A Habertürk TV reporter on the scene said the aircraft “turned into a fireball.” Numerous witnesses wrote on social media, saying thick plumes of smoke have been rising from the jet crash site.
Turkish military added the plane had been warned at least 10 times over a period of five minutes before being shot down by two Turkish F-16 fighter jets.He said the plane had violated Turkish airspace.
The plane reportedly crashed in a village mostly populated by Syrian Turkmen. The place has been a hotspot between the opposition and the Syrian Army.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has met with officials from the Foreign Ministry. He instructed them to consult with NATO and the UN on the latest developments on the Syrian border, Davutoglu’s office said in a statement.