Turkeys downs Russian plane, Putin terms it ‘stab in the back’
Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian-made warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday after repeatedly warning it over air space violations, Turkish officials said. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the incident a ‘stab in the back’ from Turkey and said it will have ‘serious consequences’ for ties between the two nations.
The shooting down of the fighter plane was “a stab in the back committed by accomplices of terrorists… I cannot call what happened today anything else,” Putin said at a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II.
Turkish PM claims justifies taking down plane
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has defended Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian fighter jet at the border with Syria, saying Turkey has the right “to take all kinds of measures” against border violations according to international laws.
Davutoglu said Tuesday Turkey will not hesitate to take all steps to protect the country’s security, calling it Turkey’s “national duty.” He stressed that the action did not amount to an aggression against any foreign territory.
Turkish presidential sources said the warplane was a Russian-made SU-24. The Turkish military, which did not confirm the plane’s origin, said it had been warned 10 times in the space of five minutes about violating Turkish airspace.
Russia’s defence ministry said one of its fighter jets had been downed in Syria, apparently after coming under fire from the ground, but said it could prove the plane was over Syria for the duration of its flight, Interfax news agency reported.
One of the two pilots dead
Meanwhile, Syrian rebel officials claim to have photos and video showing that one of two Russian pilots from a jet downed by the Turkish military has died.