Putin Labels Action “Stab in the back”, US Backs Turkey, Special NATO Meeting Convened
Turkey, a member of the US-led NATO alliance, shot down a Russian jet today, claiming that it flew into Turkish airspace. Russia countered that the plane was clearly in Syrian airspace. Was the act a provocation on the behalf of the NATO alliance to begin a broader shooting war with nuclear-armed Russia?
According to one analyst (below) the pilots ejected after their plane was hit but were killed in mid-air. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov cancelled his visit to Turkey following the incident.
NATO has reportedly called an emergency meeting after the plane was shot down.
This is a major development, particularly in the wake of the bombing of a Russian passenger jet in October, a subsequent bombing in Lebanon targeting civilians, and the most recent 11/13/15 terror events in Paris France.
Every year, hundreds of warplanes stray into disputed airspace. Getting shot out of the sky like the Russian jet downed Tuesday by Turkish forces is very unusual.
Aircraft have intricate systems that pinpoint their locations and detect transgressions into hostile territory. In the event of an incursion, local planes are scrambled and pilots follow safety protocols that include speaking to one another in English on common radio frequencies.
An aircraft goes down near Turkey’s border
If that doesn’t work, they’ll get close enough to use hand signals to tell the trespassing pilot to “get the hell out of there,” said John Johnson, an analyst at Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia. In the end, downing a plane is “extremely rare.”
More at Bloomberg
Live Updates at UK Guardian.
Moscow plans to suspend military cooperation with Ankara after the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkish air forces, Russian General Staff representatives said on Tuesday. Further measures to beef up Russian air base security in Syria will also be taken.
Three steps as announced by top brass:
- Each and every strike groups’ operation is to be carried out under the guise of fighter jets
- Air defense to be boosted with the deployment of Moskva guided missile cruiser off Latakia coast with an aim to destroy any target that may pose danger
- Military contacts with Turkey to be suspended
Follow LIVE UPDATES on Russian warplane shot down at Syria-Turkey border
Sergey Rudskoy, a top official with the Russian General Staff, condemned the attack on the Russian bomber in Syrian airspace by a Turkish fighter jet as “a severe violation of international law”. He stressed that the Su-24 was downed over the Syrian territory. The crash site was four kilometers away from the Turkish border, he said.
More at RT
From USA Today:
Turkey shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday, prompting an angry response from Moscow and heightening tensions in the global struggle over the future of Syria and the fate of the Islamic State.
The Turkish military said two F-16s shot down the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft after it breached Turkey’s airspace — and after Turkey issued 10 warnings in five minutes. Russia’s defense ministry denied the plane ever strayed from Syria airspace.
NATO and U.S. defense officials later confirmed that the Russian plane had briefly entered Turkish airspace, the Associated Press reported. AP said the officials declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak on the issue.
More at USAToday