One of the Russian pilots whose fighter plane was shot down in Syria by Turkey has been successfully recovered by Syrian rescue officials. The pilot is currently being housed at an air base in the Latakia province of Syria. The news has been confirmed by both Syrian and Russian Officials.
The Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said that rescuing the pilot took 12 hours, and it was completed by the early hours of Wednesday morning. The man is now being safely housed at a Russian airbase in Syria.
Some reports indicate that the surviving pilot had to escape from Syrian rebel forces in order to survive with the help of the Syrian army. It is unknown how exactly the pilot managed to escape capture.
The plane was shot down by Turkey after Russia allegedly ignored repeated warnings to stay away from Turkish airspace. The other pilot of the fighter jet was allegedly killed after being captured by Syrian rebels.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that there will be significant consequences for the actions of Turkey. The Russian President has since accused Turkey of being an accomplice to the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan tried to reduce tensions, saying that Turkey did not want to shoot down the plane and that it only did so to defend its own sovereign territory.
Erdogan said, “We have no intention of escalating this incident. We are only defending our own security and the rights of our brothers. We will continue our humanitarian efforts on both sides of the border. We are determined to take all necessary measures to prevent a new wave of immigration.”
Erdogan also said that the incident would not change Turkish policy in Syria. The incident represents one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between Russia and a member of NATO in more than half a century.