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Turkish F-16 shoots down Russian Su-24 near Syrian border

November 24, 2015 (by Asif Shamim) - Turkish military officials are reporting an F-16 has shot down a Russian aircraft which had violated its airspace sometime around 09:20hrs local time after repeated warnings. Online reports indicate the crew of the stricken jet ejected and were captured by Turkmen troops.

A Russian SU-24 is shown going down in the Kizildag region of Turkey’s Hatay province after being shot down by a Turkish F-16. [Photo by Anadolu Agency]

Turkish F-16s flying in the area warned the jet after the Su-24 Fencer violated Turkish airspace before shooting it down. In the mean time Russia is contradicting the report by saying there aircraft had not crossed the border and also claim it wasn't shot down by Turkish aircraft.

Russia's President Putin has convened a emergency national security council meeting after the incident.

Several online news media have published photos of the Sukhoi Su-24 in flames. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency released a video which showed two crew members parachuting out of the jet before it crashed. One of the crew was in the hands of Turkmen forces in Syria, who were searching for the other pilot, broadcaster CNN Turk reported, citing local sources.

Russia has repeatedly carried out air strikes in Syria in defense of president Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting a multi-faceted insurgency involving Islamic State and other groups.

Turkey has called for a UN security council meeting this week to discuss attacks on Turkmens in Syria, and last week Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the bombing of their villages.

Ankara has traditionally expressed solidarity with Syrian Turkmens, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.

The Sukhoi Su-24 is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft/interdictor featuring a variable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its two crew.