Russian Fighter Jet Shot Down on Syrian Border

Russian authorities have announced that one of its Su-24 strike jets has “crashed on Syrian territory, having been hit from the ground” while flying at 20,000 feet.

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In a series of tweets, Russia’s defence ministry explained that “at all times, the SU-24 was exclusively over the territory of Syria … The SU-24 was at 6000 metres and preliminary information suggests it was brought down by fire from the ground. The circumstances are being investigated.”

Meanwhile, according to the BBC, the Turkish military claims it was shot down by its own F-16 jets, after it strayed into Turkish airspace.

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It’s believed that the pilots managed to eject from the airplane before it crashed. The Guardian points to local reports that one of the pilots is “in the hands of Turkmen forces in Syria.”

Update: Fox Trot Alpha now has a full analysis of what happened. A Turkish radar trace seems to suggest that the jet did enter the country’s airspace.

Russia has been bombing Syria heavily since earlier this month, following claims made by Russian president Valdimir Putin that a bomb was used to take down one a Metrojet 9268.

[BBC]

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DISCUSSION

I am sure Turkey can provide RADAR data as proof of the incursion.

However, I am more worried about Russia responding by either engaging and shooting down Turkish aircraft (more probable) or even attack military targets in Turkey itself (less probable).Either way, it could be a trigger for a NATO response.

That being said, with Russia already denying the Turks took down the plane, it looks like they are already playing the denial card and will try to downplay the event.