Russia jet SHOT DOWN: Turkey to face ‘consequences’ as Putin calls act ‘stab in back’

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TURKISH warplanes have shot down a Russian jet which they claim flew into the country’s airspace.
By Alix Culbertson
PUBLISHED: 08:14, Tue, Nov 24, 2015 | UPDATED: 14:04, Tue, Nov 24, 2015 Getty
The plane crashed in Syria after violating Turkey’s airspace, the country claims
The aircraft was shot down after it was warned 10 times in five minutes to leave Turkish airspace, a Turkish military official has said.
It was just over the Syrian border in Turkey when it was downed by F16 Fighting Falcon jets belonging to Turkey, the official added.
But Russian President Vladimir Putin said the plane was 4km into Syria and had not violated Turkey’s airspace as it flew at an altitude of 6,000 metres – and claimed it was shot down from the ground not the air.
NATO has announced it will be holding an extraordinary session at 4pm GMT in Brussels after Turkey requested it following the incident.
Unverified sources have claimed Russia is currently sending a warship across the Dardenelles from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean.
Mr Putin said the pilots did not threaten anyone and the incident will have “serious consequences” for Turkish-Russian relations as he called it a “stab in the back”.
The president added: “Large amounts of oil from militants go to and through Turkey.”
The incident is the first time a Russian or Soviet plane has been shot down by a NATO member since the 1950s.
It would be wrong to talk about consequences and relations between Russia and Turkey at the moment
Kremlin
Two pilots managed to eject from the jet and were seen landing with the help of parachutes.
The jet is reported to be a Russian Su-24 flown by a pair of Russian pilots, with one believed to have been captured by Syrian rebels from the Alweya Al-Ashar (Brigade of the 10th) which consists of Turkmen with strong links to Turkey.
He was initially thought to be alive but rebels have now said they have recovered both pilots’ bodies.
The second pilot is believed to have died in the crash after footage was released by Syrian rebels appearing to show them crowding around a body saying “Allahu Akbar” – God is Great in Arabic.
Russia is currently fighting in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad’s troops against the rebels and Islamic State (ISIS).
Sources say the brigade has now launched “a counter-offensive” against President Bashar and Russian troops in a bid to take back the Turkman mountains.
Russian plane shot down over Turkey
Tue, November 24, 2015
A Russian Su-24 fighter jet has been shot out of the sky over the Turkish-Syrian border.
Turkish presidential sources have said the jet was downed in line with the rules of engagement after violating the country’s airspace and failing to heed warnings.
He said the pilot was warned 10 times before they deployed the F16s to shoot it down.
A government official said: “We are trying to identify the nationality of the plane.”
Turkish military
The Turkish military released the flight radar they say is from the Russian jet they shot
Russia’s foreign minister Sergy Lavrov was expected to land in Istanbul at 4.30pm today – the same time as the urgent NATO meeting – ahead of talks with the Turkish government tomorrow, but so far there is no indication he will be leaving Moscow soon as he is in meetings with Mr Putin.
The Kremlin’s deputy speaker said while the world is grouping together against Islamic State, Turkey is helping them.
He said: “Turkey demonstrates it’s solidarity with the terrorists.”
The Kremlin called it a “very serious incident” but said it is too early to draw firm conclusions.
Video footage shows a plane exploding in the air before the fireball fell onto a Turkmen mountain near a village on the northern Syrian side of the border.
British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said: “Clearly this is a serious incident but it wouldn’t be wise to comment further until we have the facts.”
A Downing Street spokesman added: “We will continue to work closely with the Turks and we will stand by the offers of support we have made to them already.”
One of the Russian pilots has been captured by Syrian rebels
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the warplane crashed in a mountainous area in the northern countryside of Latakia province.
The fate of the crew was unknown, the Observatory said, adding there had been aerial bombardment in the area earlier, where pro-government forces have been battling insurgents on the ground.
While fears have arisen over the consequences of the downed plane, the European Council’s President, Donald Tusk, tweeted: “In this dangerous moment after downing of Russian jet, all should remain cool headed and calm.”
Turkish military
The Russian fighter jet went over a small section of Turkey, according to the Turkish military
Turkey called this week for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss attacks on Turkmens in neighboring Syria, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the bombing of their villages.
Ankara has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.
About 1,700 people have fled the mountainous Syrian area to the Turkish border as a result of fighting in the last three days, a Turkish official said on Monday.
Russian jets have bombed the area in support of ground operations by Syrian government forces.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s office said he had spoken with the chief of military staff and the foreign minister about developments on the border, but did not mention the downed jet.
He instructed them to consult with NATO and the UN on the latest developments on the Syrian border.
Turkey has continually warned Russia and Syria not to edge into their airspace, and has said them it would shoot any planes violating that.
In October, when Russian planes flew into Turkish airspace two days in a row, NATO – of which Turkey is a leading member – released a statement which said: “Allies strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace, and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. Allies also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behaviour.
“They call on the Russian Federation to cease and desist, and immediately explain these violations.
“Allies call on the Russian side to take all necessary measures to ensure that such violations do not take place in the future.”
The Sukhoi SU-24 is a supersonic, all weather attack aircraft developed in Russia. The aircraft features avariable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its two crew.
It was the first of Russia’s aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation and attack system.

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