Turkish F16 fighter shot down Russian Su-24 jet over Syria, MoD confirms (VIDEO)
The Ministry's Twitter says that “analysis of the objective monitoring data” showed the downed SU-24 jet did not violate Turkish air space.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he regards the downing of the SU-24 as “a stab in the back” by “terrorist accomplices,” adding that Turkey gets the flow of oil from Islamic State-controlled territories.
President Putin said the SU-24 pilots “were conducting an operation to fight ISIS in northern Latakia which is a mountainous area where the rebels – mostly from the Russian Federation – are stationed. In this sense they were carrying out their duty to make preventive strikes on terrorists who could return to Russia at any time.”
The president said Russia had always treated Turkey as a friendly state, but concluded: “This tragic event will cause serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations. […] I don’t know who was in need of what was done today, at any rate, it wasn’t us.”
The SU-24 tactical bomber jet was downed on Tuesday morning after being hit by an air-to-air missile fired from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet.
Both pilots managed to eject, but were reportedly shot while parachuting by rebels from the ground. Video footage released by the rebels shortly afterwards shows the dead body of a Russian pilot being inspected by armed men. A Russian air rescue team from Latakia airbase is still airborne searching for the other pilot.