MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplane was downed when returning to Syria’s Hmeimim airbase, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
"The Russian Su-24 warplane was downed in Syria’s territory by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet. The objective control data analysis has shown unmistakably that Turkey’s air space was not violated," the ministry said.
The Russian plane was downed by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish F-16 fighter when it was at an altitude of 6,000 meters at a distance of 1 km from the Turkish border. The Defense Ministry said earlier that pilots had managed to eject from the aircraft. Their whereabouts were being established.
Turkey’s General Staff said the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and was downed by a fighter jet. According to the Turkish side, the crew of the Russian plane had been issued ten warnings in five minutes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the downed Su-24 was no threat to Turkey as it was on a mission to bomb Islamic State targets. The Russian president warned that attack on the Russian warplane would have "serious consequences" for the Russian-Turkish relations. Putin called the incident a "stab in the back" of Russia delivered by "terrorism accomplices."
The Turkish military attache in Russia was summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry.