Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border Tuesday morning, starting a war of words as Russia and Turkey gave contradictory accounts of what led to the destruction.
NATO will hold an emergency meeting in Brussels Tuesday to discussed the downed Su-24 plane.
The plane was shot down near the Syrian border.
Officials in Turkey said the jet was shot down around 9:20 a.m. because it violated airspace restrictions, and the pilots ignored 10 warnings in five minutes about the breach. The plane went down in a mountain region in the province of Latakia.
A rebel group allegedly captured one of the pilots after the crash, but said fighters found him dead upon landing.
Russia’s Defense Ministry insisted in a statement the plane “was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.” Russia has been carrying out airstrikes in Syria for weeks, saying it is targeting ISIS militants.
The plane went down in a mountainous region in the province of Latakia, forcing two pilots to parachute out.
Soon after the shoot-down, footage of the crash surfaced on social media.
One Twitter user, who describes himself as a journalist in the Middle East, posted a video purportedly showing the plane plunging as a person on the ground chants “Allahu Akbar.” Several users also tweeted footage claiming to show a crowd chanting that phrase over the mutilated corpse of a pilot.
With News Wire Services
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