BBC News reports that Russia and Turkey are each offering differing accounts of exactly what it was that brought the plane down. Russia’s defense ministry claims the jet crashed after being hit by fire from the ground. Turkey, on the other hand, claims that Turkish F-16s took out the plane for violating Turkish airspace.
Turkish military officials allege that, in accordance with the rules of engagement, the Russian pilots were given a total of ten warnings over a period of five minutes before their plane was shot down. Russian officials, however, claim to have “objective proof” that the plane never strayed into Turkish airspace.
According to Reuters, this is the first time since World War II that Russian and NATO planes have been flying combat missions in the same air space, and an incident like this has been feared since Russia began airstrikes against Syria back in September. Though Russian officials claimed that the attacks were aimed at ISIS strongholds, it later became clear that the airstrikes were targeted at opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Several news sources are reporting that the Russian fighter plane came down in what is a rebel held area.
According to ALJAZEERA, the crash site is near the Antakya Mountains over Yamadi village. It’s an area that has seen a great deal of recent violence; BBC News reports that the crash site is in an area where air strikes and clashes on the ground between Syrian government
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