Turkish F-16s Shoot Down Russian Su-24


A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 was shot down Tuesday near the Syrian-Turkish border by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16 fighter jets, officials said. Various accounts have disputed whether the aircraft was above Syrian or Turkish territory at the time, and a U.S. official, speaking off the record to the Los Angeles Times, said if the jet did cross into Turkish airspace, it was only for a few seconds. The crew reportedly ejected before the crash, but Russian military officials said at least one of the pilots was killed.

images: BBC

Turkish officials said the Russian crew ignored warnings to leave the airspace, but Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attack was a “stab in the back” committed by “accomplices of terrorists.” Putin said the Russian crew was carrying out an operation against Islamic State militants and they were not a threat to Turkey. Another Russian airman also was killed by ground fire, while he was flying in an MI-8 helicopter that was searching for the Su-24 pilots. The helicopter was able to land safely and the rest of the crew was evacuated, according to Russian officials.