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Russia’s Aerospace Forces chief: Turkish F-16 didn't warn Su-24M crew at agreed frequency

November 27, 2015, 20:55 UTC+3
The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on November 24 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber that Ankara claims violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria
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© Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Objective control means of the Khmeimim airbase in Syria and of a Russian plane that was nearby did not register any single warning from Turkey’s F-16 fighter addressed to the Sukhoi Su-24M, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said Friday.

"Khmeimim airfield and lead aircraft objective control means registered no single request on the part of the Turkish plane’s crew addressed to our pilots at a frequency agreed earlier," Bondarev told journalists.

The Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter on November 24 shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber that Ankara claims violated the country’s airspace on the border with Syria. The Su-24M crew ejected but one of the two pilots was killed by fire from the ground. The second pilot was rescued as a result of a 12-hour operation. During evacuation of the Su-24M crew, a Mi-8 helicopter was lost and a contract marine was killed.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Su-24M was above Syrian territory and "there was no violation of Turkey’s airspace." It said the Turkish Air Force fighter violated Syria’s airspace.

The commander-in-chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces said Friday that Turkey’s F-16 fighter that shot down the Russian Su-24M bomber was in Syria’s airspace for 40 seconds and went inside its territory by 2 kilometers, while the Russian bomber did not violate the Turkish state border.

Earlier media carried audio recordings that allegedly registered talks of the Turkish military with the Russian crew. The Russian Defense Ministry reported November 26 that the Turkish General Staff said it had not circulated the talks’ recording. The Turkish side has refused to hand the Russian military attache any materials on the incident, the ministry said.

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