Turkey ‘repeatedly warned’ Russian warplane violating airspace

A jet brought down after violating Turkish airspace was given 10 warnings over a five-minute period, Turkey’s military said Tuesday.

In a statement on its website, the Turkish General Staff said a “warplane of unknown nationality” breached Turkish airspace over Yayladagi, Hatay province, which borders northwest Syria.

The military did not specify the type of plane but Turkish presidential sources and the Russian Ministry of Defense have identified the aircraft as a Russian SU-24.

Two Turkish Air Force F-16s challenged and brought down the plane in line with Turkish rules of engagement.

“A warplane of unknown nationality that breached Turkish airspace over Hatay Yayladagi region at 09.20 [0720GMT] was alerted 10 times in five minutes,” the general staff statement said.

The F-16s, which were on patrol in the area, “intervened” at 9.24 a.m. local time.

The plane was brought down in northwest Syria near the Turkmen town of Bayirbucak.

Media footage showed two parachutes floating to the ground before the aircraft crashed in a plume of smoke.

Russian warplanes previously violated Turkish airspace twice in October. The incidents came within a few days of the start of Russia’s air campaign in Syria on Sept. 30 and led to international condemnation.


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