A still image made available on November 24, 2015 from video footage shown by the HaberTurk TV Channel shows a burning trail as a plane comes down after being shot down near the Turkish-Syrian border.
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday, prompting an angry response from Moscow and heightening tensions in the global struggle over the future of Syria and the fate of the Islamic State.
The Turkish military said two F-16s shot down the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft after it breached Turkey’s airspace — and after Turkey issued 10 warnings in five minutes. Russia’s defense ministry denied the plane ever strayed from Syria airspace.
NATO and U.S. defense officials later confirmed that the Russian plane had briefly entered Turkish airspace, the Associated Press reported. AP said the officials declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak on the issue.
“As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO ally, Turkey, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after an emergency meeting of the 28-nation defense pact.
The plane went down in the Bayirbucak region of northwestern Syria near the Turkish border. Turkey’s Dogan news agency said witnesses reported seeing the plane crash over tents in a village.
Rebels at the scene fatally shot two parachuting pilots, Alpaslan Celik, the second-in-command of a Turkmen rebel force, told multiple media outlets. A Turkish official, however, told Reuters that his government believes the pilots are alive and that authorities were working to secure their release.
Helicopter down too the same day: