Saturday, 17 November 2018 | RSS

Fate of pilots of downed Russian jet unclear

3357

Turkey says the plane had violated its airspace. Russia denies the claim stressing it was flying over Syria at the time.

Ankara has backed up its assertion with radar images. The bombing mission involved flying a loop with the plane going through Turkish airspace. That’s the point at which it’s claimed it was shot down.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition against the so-called Islamic State confirmed the Turks warned the Russian plane 10 times before it shot it down.

The two pilots ejected. A Turkish government official has said he believes they are still alive and is working to secure their release from opposition rebels in Syria.

That is contrary to claims they have been killed by Turkmen rebels. They are ethnic Turks who live in the region of Syria. Their main opponents are the regular army and the militant jihadist group ISIL. A deputy commander claims they opened fire on the two Russians.

“We have caught the pilots and both of them are dead,” said Alpaslan Celik. When asked by a journalist if they were dead after ejecting from the plane the commander says, “All our friends, all of us fired into the air. They died when they were in the air.”

Russians have been advised not to visit Turkey by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who its reported has cancelled a visit to the country planned for Wednesday.

In the UK Downing Street says Prime Minister David Cameron has encouraged Turkey and Russia to have “a direct conversation” over the matter.

IN SUMMARY

 
* Turkey says its F16 fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near its border with Syria.
* Russian warplane warned 10 ten times in five minutes before it was shot down, say local media.
* Warplane was shot down in Syria, one kilometre from Turkish border, claims Putin.
* Incident ‘a stab in the back’ will have ‘serious consequences’ for Russian-Turkish relations, says Putin
* One of pilot ‘dead on landing’, says Syrian opposition rebel commander. Search is on for other.
* NATO to hold extraordinary meeting to discuss incident at 17h CET.
Date:November 24, 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *