According to reports breaking on Tuesday morning, a military jet has been shot down on the Turkish-Syrian border.
According to Reuters, the Turkish military is claiming that it shot down a jet after it violated the country’s airspace and the pilot did not respond to repeated warnings. Turkey says that the Russian jet was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighter aircraft.
Sputnik News, a Russian state-owned media service, has confirmed that the jet belonged to the military. It is a Su-24 model, and the report says it was shot from the ground.
The Russian defence ministry also reportedly says that the jet was in Syrian airspace, and suggested that it was attacked from the ground.
At least one pilot was seen ejecting from the plane with a parachute. According to CNN in Turkey, a pilot has been captured by Turkmen forces — rebels in Syria with close ethnic and historical links to Turkey.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest English-language newspaper, CNN Turkey is reporting that one of the pilots is dead.
Here’s what the crash looked like:
And this is a radar map published by the Turkish military showing the reported flight path of the jet that it shot down, which Ankara is using as proof that the pilots violated the country’s airspace.
According to Agence France-Presse, NATO has called an “extraordinary meeting” following the incident. Turkey is a NATO member, and the nations are bound by the treaty to defend one another from aggression.
Russian military forces are working in support of President Bashar Al-Assad, and their presence has grown considerably since September, when airstrikes began.
Here’s what a Sukhoi Su-24 looks like:
According to Reuters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the jet crashed in Latakia province, a part north-western Syria bordering Turkey. There was reportedly bombing in the area earlier, and fighting between rebel groups and the government over the last week.
According to Turkish media, there are now Russian helicopters searching the area that the jet came down in:
Here, from Haaretz, is the full video reportedly showing the jet crash:
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