Turkey’s military have today shot down a Russian war plane near its border with Syria after the jet violated Turkish air space.
The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighter planes after ignoring nearly a dozen warnings, Turkish army officials said.
However, Russia’s Ministry of Defence claims the jet was in Syrian airspace, and was shot down from the ground.
Footage reportedly filmed by rebels in Syria’s Turkomen Mountains, an area which has been the cause of recent tensions between Turkey and Russia, shows local fighters cheer as they discover the body of one of the Russian pilots.
The video, posted on Twitter by a man believed to be a Syrian-Turkmen rebel soldier, shows at least a dozen men surrounding the corpse of the pilot, dressed in Russian military fatigues, and some are heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ – ‘God is great’.
Local rebels said the pilot, who can be seen covered in bruises and burns in the video, was already deceased when he landed, and that none of the Russian pilots had been killed by Syrian fighters.
The area is mainly populated by Turkmens – Syrians citizens, but ethnic Turks – and is the target of a current Syrian government offensive, where President Bashar al-Assad’s ground troops are supported by Russian airstrikes.