Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian SU-24 figher jet Tuesday after the plane allegedly flew into Turkish airspace near the Syrian border—but Russia says its aircraft never left Syria, while President Vladimir Putin has called the attack a “stab in the back” that will have “serious consequences.” An emergency meeting of NATO has been called in Brussels, which, as it happens, is still in a state of lockdown because of fears of a potential ISIS attack. (Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952.) From the Guardian:
The Turkish military said it shot down the plane after it penetrated Turkish airspace in the province of Hatay at 9.20am warning it to leave 10 times in five minutes before it was shot down. Turkey published radar images claiming to show the plane briefly flying over its southern territory.
Russia said its SU-24 plane never left Syrian airspace. Putin said it came down 4km from the border with Turkey and did not pose a threat to Turkey.
A still from footage of the plane crashing:
It does not appear to be in dispute that the Russian jet actually came down in Syria. There are unconfirmed reports that both of the plane’s pilots, who appeared to have ejected from their aircraft, are dead in Syrian territory, though it’s not clear how they died. (Turkmen rebel forces in Syria say that they shot the pilots while they were parachuting to the ground.) Russia supports the government of Bashar al-Assad and has been attacking rebel targets in Syria since September; Turkey had reportedly complained to Russia as recently as last Friday about operations taking place too close to its border.
This post has been updated with new information.