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Turkey Says It Has Shot Down A Russian Warplane Near Border With Syria

This frame grab from video by Haberturk TV, shows a Russian warplane on fire before crashing on a hill as seen from Hatay province, Turkey, on Tuesday.
Uncredited AP
This frame grab from video by Haberturk TV, shows a Russian warplane on fire before crashing on a hill as seen from Hatay province, Turkey, on Tuesday.

After issuing 10 warnings in five minutes, Turkey says two of its F-16s shot down a Russian warplane they say violated Turkey's airspace.

On Twitter, Russia's Defense Ministry said its Sukhoi SU-24 was flying "only within the borders of Syrian territory." Its pilots, the Russians said, appear to have ejected.

The Associated Press published video that appears to show a damaged war plane crash into a hill side. The video, shot from Hatay province, Turkey, then appears to show the pilots parachuting down.

The Washington Post reports that Russia disputed Turkey's version of events, saying the plane was likely downed "due to shelling from the ground."

The New York Times adds:

"The incident highlights heightened friction in Syria's increasingly crowded airspace, which now includes Russian warplanes that are targeting the armed opposition of President Bashar al-Assad's embattled forces."Russian President Vladi­mir Putin's spokesman called the warplane's downing a 'very serious incident,' but said it was too early to draw conclusions.

"'It is just impossible to say something without having full information,' Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told reporters in Moscow. While Peskov urged caution, however, some Russian lawmakers called for retaliation against Turkey by evacuating Russian tourists from popular vacation destinations there."
USA Today reports:
"The Dogan news agency said that witnesses said the warplane crashed over tents in a village and pilots landed with parachutes. Russia's Interfax agency said the pilots ejected, and what happened to them is under investigation, citing the defense ministry."

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