No flight plan of downed Russian jet given, US officials say

US officials say Russia did not inform US coalition about flight details of downed Russian war jet, rejecting Russian president’s claim

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Russian war plane crashing in flames in a mountainous area in northern Syria after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the Turkish-Syrian border

Russia did not inform US coalition forces about the flight plan of its war jet downed by the Turkish Air Force after it violated Turkish airspace near Syrian border, two US officials said.

The US officials, who asked for anonymity, said on Saturday that Russia had not passed on operational details of Russian activities in the area as Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested.

Putin, speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Moscow, said Russia had given flight details of its fighter jets to the US-led coalition of which Turkey is a member.

The Russian president also said the US might have informed Turkey about Russian operational plans in the region.

"We informed our American partners about when and where Russian aircraft would be operating," said Putin.  

“It was precisely then that the Turkish Air Force shot down the Russian warplane."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the other hand, said Turkish F-16s patrolling along the border shot down an unidentified war jet after it was warned 10 times to change its route.

Erdogan also said the Turkish F-16s did not know the nationality of the fighter jets, one of which left the Turkish airspace right after it entered.

"Had we known it was a Russian jet, we may have acted differently," Erdogan said.

Putin claimed the downed Russian jet hadn’t entered Turkish airspace and was shot down inside Syria.

However, the claim by the Russian president was rejected by Turkey - as well as the US, and NATO - which said Turkey has the right to defend its borders.

Hours after the downing of the Russian war jet, Turkey released a radar map showing the airspace violation, in response to the Russian claim that the jet was down inside Syrian airspace.


TRTWorld and agencies