by Benson Agoha | Middle East
A Russian Su-24 - a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft - was shot down Tuesday by the Turkish military near the Turkish-Syrian border, in what Turkey said was the violation of its air space.
According to a report by Russia's RT, the pilots ejected but their fate is unknown as the aircraft reported crashed in a village mostly populated by Syrian Turkmen - a village that has been a hotspot between the opposition and the Syrian Army.
Turkish media Haberturk TV screamed #SONDAKİKA! "SYRIAN BORDER MAKES A VIOLATION Of AIRCRAFT PLANE CRASHED In BÖLDEGEKİ RESOURCES: Trans TURKISH JETS DROPPED ". The reporter said the aircraft "turned into a fireball".
Early in October, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg had issued a statement in which he warned Russia that Turkey remained under NATO's protection and as result, violation of its airspace would not be tolerated.
Turkish military was quoted as saying the plane had been warned at least 10 times over a period of five minutes before being shot down by two Turkish F-16 fighter jets. He said the plane had violated Turkish airspace.
Today an RT report said Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu has met with officials from the Foreign Ministry and instructed them to consult with NATO and the UN on the latest developments on the Syrian border.
Russian Defense Ministry confirm the incidence but said the plane had not violated Turkish airspace and was flying at an altitute of 6,000 meters.
“During the flight, the aircraft was flying within the borders of Syria, which was registered by objective monitoring data,” the Russian ministry was reported as saying, adding that the aircraft was "supposedly shot down from the ground.”
|* Photo showed when the plane moments after the pilot ejected.|
(Credit: via RT)
|* A pilot's parachute inflates after he ejected from the plane.|
(Credit: via RT).