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Russian jet shot down by Turkey, both sides in dispute

On Tuesday, 24th November 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet-plane near the Turkish-Syrian border.

While the circumstances are in dispute, The Turks say that the jet plane ignored the warnings and violated Turkish airspace. They say two of their F-16 jets were scrambled and brought down the Russian plane with a missile strike. On the other hand, Russia insists that its jet-plane remained in Syrian airspace.

One of the two pilots was killed in the air by fire from the ground, according to Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti. Whereas, the brigade is still searching for the other pilot in the same area. The Russians are raging about this incident since it’s the first time in decades that a “NATO country” has shot down a Russian or Soviet war plane, and the first plane Russia has lost since it began its campaign in Syria.

Both sides say they have hard evidence to back up their accounts:

  • Turkey has produced a map which it says proves its case.
  • While, Russia says both pilots on the Su-24 ejected prior to the crash, and there’s video of the pilots parachuting to the ground. However, Authenticity of Video is yet to be decided by officials.
jet aftermath
jet aftermath

The area of incident is home to Turk rebels (a Turkish ethnic minority who are fighting Syria’s Assad regime) , who are in close ties to Turkey.

It’s an extremely serious development which could have far-ranging aftermath because Russia and Turkey share close economic ties, particularly since European sanctions on Russia came into effect. Turkey is also a popular tourism destination for Russians. But more significantly, there’s a broader concern about the impact this could have geo-politically, in terms of the Syrian conflict and the war on ISIS.

There’s always been a segregation between Russia and the West over Syrian issue, with Russia standing behind Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Turkey backing rebel forces fighting to topple him.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the downing of the jet is a “a stab in the back by the terrorists’ accomplices” and “will have serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.

United States President Barack Obama maintained that Turkey had a right to defend its airspace and charged that Russian air activity near the Turkey-Syria border has contributed to the crisis.

The turns of events are  shocking and it’s an extremely serious outgrowth which could have far-reaching outcomes. We hope that the countries are able to resolve their disputes in a more cordial manner, in the background of an already heated global issues.

Source : CNN