ANKARA, March 5. /TASS/. The pilot of the Syrian MiG-21 fighter jet that crashed in the Turkish territory says his plane was shot down, Turkey’s Haber-7 television channel said on Sunday.
The pilot, Mehmet Sufhan, 56, an officer of the Syrian army, told the Turkish authorities he had taken off from Syria’s Latakia for combat mission in Idlib but his plane had been gunned down shortly after the takeoff.
The pilot received spine, feet and face injuries while ejecting himself from the aircraft and landing. He is now at a Turkish hospital. Medics say he is in satisfactory condition.
The accident took place on Saturday evening when the Syrian warplane disappeared from the radars near the border with Turkey. According to the governor of Turkey’s Hatay province, Erdal Ata, it was not a border violation as the aircraft crashed due to a technical or some other reason.
Meanwhile Dogan news agency said earlier the fighter jet might have been shot down by militants near the settlement of Maarat Mirin located some ten kilometers off the border with Turkey. The plane continues to fly for some time and crashed in Turkey’s Hatay.