MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Russia has raised an official protest to Turkey’s military attache over its attack on a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria, the press service of the Russian defense ministry said on Tuesday.
"The Russian defense ministry urgently summoned the Turkish embassy’s military attache to present an official protest over the actions of the Turkish air force," the ministry said.
The Russian Defense Ministry considers the attack of Turkish fighter jets on the Russian Su-24 bomber "an unfriendly act", the ministry’s press service noted, adding that attempts of the ministry’s specialists to establish hotline contact with the Turkish side were not successful.
A Russian Su-24 frontline bomber was downed by an air-to-air missile launched from a Turkish F-16 fighter jet when it was returning from an anti-terrorist mission to the Hmeymim airbase in Syria. The warplane was at an altitude of 6,000 meters at a distance on one kilometer from the Turkish border. The Defense Ministry said earlier that pilots had managed to eject from the aircraft. Their whereabouts were being established.
Meanwhile, 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. The Russian defense ministry refuted these allegations citing objective monitoring data that "clearly demonstrated that Turkey’s airspace had not bee violated."
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. "It was a stab in the back," Putin said. The Russian president warned that attack on the Russian warplane would have "serious consequences" for the Russian-Turkish relations.