Turkish presidential sources say a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 fighter jet has been shot down by Turkish jets over making an airspace violation in the region of the Turkmen mountain which is located in northwestern Syria near Turkish border.
Two pilots have reportedly been parachuted and captured by the opposition forces following the crash which has also wounded two civilians in the Turkish side of the border close to the Yayladagi district of the Hatay province.
Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) released the radar footages of the incident which has indicated the downed warplane violated the Turkish airspace over the country’s Hatay province near its Syria border.
Turkish General Staff has announced that “an unidentified plane has violated Turkish airspace many times (10 times in five minutes) though it has repeatedly been warned,” by the TAF.
“The mentioned plane has been interfered by two Turkish F-16 fighter jets which have been patrolling the area of the incident at 09:24am on Nov. 24 according to engagement rules,” the statement added.
Russian defense minister made a statement saying that they are guessing that their plane could be shot down by ground forces belonging to the Syrian opposition and the fighter jet didn't do any airspace violation according to their own information.
"The Defense Ministry has not yet named the reason of the plane’s crash. We know for sure that the plane was in Syria's airspace, above Syria's territory," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has claimed in a press conference held following the incident on Tuesday.
There have recently been fierce clashes between Turkmen opposition fighters and the Assad regime forces reinforced by Russian air strikes which have strongly been protested by Turkey.
At least 5,000 Syrian Turkmen were forced to evacuate their villages and flee to the Syrian-Turkish border last Friday night following Russia’s intense three day air bombardment on their villages supported by the ground assault of forces loyal to Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad in the Bayirbucak Turkmen area in the rural town of Latakia, local sources reported.
The assaults targeted 14 Turkmen villages, resulting in civilian casualties.
Russian intervention into the Syrian conflict began with a bombing campaign on the side of the Assad regime on Sept. 30, targeting mostly Syrian opposition-held territories in the country, rather than DAESH. The intervention has been strongly protested by US, Turkey and the NATO alliance.
Russian fighter jets previously violated the Turkish airspace near Syrian border in early October during its bombing campaign.
At the time, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested the violation and summoned the Russian ambassador to convey its condemnation of the breach according to a statement released on Oct.5.
Furthermore, the Russian ambassador was summoned by Ankara again following an allegedly second violation by the Russian warplanes which is yet to be clarified by the Moscow government.