Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Russian warplane shot down at Syria-Turkey border LIVE UPDATES

Russian warplane shot down at Syria-Turkey border LIVE UPDATES

A Russian Su-24 front-line bomber jet. © Dmitriy Vinogradov
    • 17:34 GMT
    • Efforts of Rus MoD specialists to organize coopertion with Turkish party by emergency communiction link were unsuccessful
    • 17:25 GMT
      Acts of aggression would only strengthen Syria’s determination to fight terrorist groups with support from Russia, the Syrian General Staff said after the downing of the Russian bomber near the Turkish border.
      “Reckless acts of aggression will only strengthen our determination to continue the fight against terrorists with the assistance of our friends, especially Russia,” Syrian state agency SANA reported, citing a statement from the General Staff.
    • 17:13 GMT
      The two Russian pilots of the downed Su-24 warplane are still alive and Turkey is working to secure their release from Syrian rebels, a Turkish government official told Reuters.
      “Our units, who received the information that the two pilots were alive, are working to get them from opposition rebels safely,” he stressed.
    • 17:03 GMT
      Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed “anger and frustration” over the “unpredictable actions of Turkey” as it downed the Russian Su-24 on Tuesday.
      These actions are “completely inexplicable,” he said. He stressed that according to Russian military intelligence, the Su-24 jet was downed in Syrian airspace.
      "In this case it is certainly important to hear some reaction from Western countries and NATO regarding such actions.”
      He added that the downing of the Russian warplane will not affect the counter-terrorist operations of Russian air forces.
    • 17:02 GMT
      Russian state tourism agency Rostourism has recommended suspending sales of tour packages to Turkey. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out the increasing level of the terror threat in Turkey, which is “not lower than in Egypt.” Lavrov said the ministry recommends Russians to refrain from visiting Turkey.
    • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov © © Leonhard Foeger
      • LATEST: We don't recommend Russians to travel to Turkey - Lavrov

  • 16:50 GMT
    Whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks has published Turkey’s letter to the UN Security Council after the downing of the Russian plane on Tuesday. In the letter, Ankara claimed that the plane was warned “ten times during 5 minutes” to change its route while approaching Turkish airspace.
    Meanwhile, Moscow has stated that the Russian SU-24 jet never violated Turkish airspace.
  • 16:39 GMT
    British Prime Minister David Cameron has urged direct communications between Russia and Turkey over the downed Russian Su-24 bomber to avoid further escalation.
    The prime minister strongly encouraged Prime Minister Davutoglu to make sure that there was direct communication between the Turks and the Russians on this,” Cameron’s spokeswoman told reporters.
16:25 GMT

  • The shooting down of a Russian fighter jet illustrates precisely why we need open lines of communication with Russia.

  • The Russian Defense Ministry has issued a formal protest to the Turkish military attaché over the downing of a Russian war jet by Turkish air forces.
    “The Russian Defense Ministry immediately summoned the military attaché of the Turkish Republic and issued a formal protest concerning the actions of the Turkish air forces,” the ministry’s press service said.
    Russia regards the actions of the Turkish air forces as an “unfriendly act,” the ministry adds.
    The Russian warplane did not cross the Turkish border and targeted objects solely on Syrian territory, striking terrorist groups, the Ministry of Defense says, adding that its attempts to contact the Turkish side via emergency communication channels have fai

  • 15:58 GMT
    The US military said it couldn’t offer a precise location where the Russian jet was downed by Turkey, only saying that it happened "at the border" between Syria and Turkey.
    When asked to confirm Turkish accounts that the Russian plane was warned ten times before being engaged, Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led military campaign against Islamic State, said: "I can confirm that. Yes."
    However, he didn’t specify whether the US knew this independently, or if it was relying on Turkish accounts.
  • 15:46 GMT
    Despite Turkey being a NATO member, the US military spokesman said the downing of the Russian warplane is an issue to be settled between Ankara and Moscow.
    "This is an incident between the Russian and the Turkish governments. It is not an issue that involves the [US-led coalition operations]. Our combat operations against ISIL (IS, ISIS) continue as planned and we are striking in both Iraq and Syria,"Steve Warren, spokesman for the US-led Combined Joint Task Force, is cited as saying by Reuters.
  • 15:46 GMT
    Turkey has informed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the five members of the UN Security Council in writing over the downing of the Russian warplane, Turkish diplomatic sources told Reuters.
    Turkey's deputy undersecretary has already met with the charge d'affairs of Russia, the US and Britain as well as the French ambassador to the country, stressing that the Su-24 was attacked after it repeatedly violated Turkish air space.
  • 15:46 GMT
    The rebel group, which claims to have shot dead one of the Russian pilots after they ejected from their Su-24, announced the conditions for releasing his body.
    Jahed Ahmad of the 10th Brigade in the Coast, a group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, told AP that the body will be exchanged for prisoners held by the Syrian government.
    According to Ahmad, the group is now conducting a search operation in the area to find the second Russian pilot.
  • 15:46 GMT
    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed hope that Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane wouldn’t hamper talks on solving the Syrian civil war.
    "What we must hope for is that this occurrence will not deal a setback to the encouraging first talks, which offer a small hope of de-escalating the Syrian conflict," said Steinmeier as cited by Reuters.
  • 14:38 GMT
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will chair a security meeting later on Tuesday to discuss the incident involving the downed Russian Su-24 bomber. The meeting will also be attended by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the head of the armed forces General Hulusi Akar, the head of the MIT national intelligence agency Hakan Fidan and some ministers, Reuters reports citing presidential sources.
  • 14:00 GMT
    The Turkish foreign minister has summoned the representatives of the five UN Security Council permanent members – China, France, Germany, Russia and the US - to brief them on the incident involving the downed Russian Su-24 bomber.
  • 13:29 GMT
    The Russian Su-24 was downed while returning to the Khmeimim airbase, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported.
    “A Russian Su-24 was downed by a Turkish F-16 fighter over the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic while returning to the Khmeimim airbase. Objective monitoring data showed that there was no violation of Syrian airspace,” the statement from the ministry said.
  • 13:00 GMT
    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Turkey has a right to respond to violations of its airspace and it came in spite of repeated warnings. He also added Turkey would do “whatever is necessary” to ensure its security.
12:02 GMT
The downing of the Russian jet by Turkey is a very serious incident, the UK Foreign Office said, adding that it was seeking further details.
"Clearly this is a very serious incident, but it would be unwise to comment further until we have more certainty on the facts,"the ministry said.
  • 11:57 GMT
    Turkey has summoned the Russian Ambassador in Ankara following the warplane downing incident, Bloomberg reported.
  • 11:57 GMT
    The rebel group that released an alleged video of one of the Russian warplane pilots has told AP he was shot at by the group while in the air and was dead when he landed.
  • 11:48 GMT
    The Kremlin recommended not jumping to conclusions after the downing of a Russian warplane in Syria, saying it was too early to say how the incident could affect Russia’s relations with Turkey.
    “What we should do is be patient. This incident is very serious, but until we see a complete picture, making any statements is impossible and wrong,” spokesman for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov told the media.
  • 11:44 GMT
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