Russian President Vladimir Putin is saying that there will be very serious consequences after Turkey shot down one of its fighter jets in Syria. The Russian President has accused Turkey of supporting ISIS and terrorism, and has stated that Turkey is a “backstabber”.
Putin said, “We understand that everyone has their own interests but we won’t allow such crimes to take place. We received a stab in the back from accomplices of terrorism.”
Fighter jets from Turkey took down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border after the Russians were repeatedly warned over airspace violations. It is currently unknown if the Russian fighter jet actually left Syrian airspace. The incident represents the first time that a member of NATO took down a Russian or Soviet military aircraft since at least the 1950s.
Television footage of the incident showed the plane going down in flames into a woodland area. A long trail of smoke raced behind it. The two pilots parachuted out of the jet before it crashed. At least one of the pilots died in the incident. Reports indicate that members of the Free Syrian Army danced around the body of the dead Russian pilot. The location of the other pilot is unknown at this time.
According to the Turkish military, the pilots of the aircraft were warned ten separate times that they were violating Turkish airspace during a period of five minutes. A second plane was also reportedly told to leave the area.
A senior Turkish official said, “The data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they were getting too close. We warned them to avoid entering Turkish airspace before they did, and we warned them many times. Our findings show clearly that Turkish airspace was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”
Turkish officials have stated that the incident was not an action against any country in particular, but rather the country was making an effort to defend its sovereignty. A meeting involving both Turkey and Russia is expected to take place later today in regards to the incident.
This recent attack is expected to weaken efforts to form a unified alliance against ISIS. It is very possible that Russia could retaliate against both the United States and Turkey in response to the attack. For now, no retaliation efforts have taken place.