Turkey shoots down Russian warplane near Syrian border

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border, accusing it of violating Turkish airspace several times.

The plane was on its way to strike rebel strongholds in Syria on Tuesday. It was unclear what happened to the two pilots.

The Turkish military said the plane had been warned 10 times over about five minutes that it was violating Turkish airspace. But Russia’s defense ministry said the plane remained over Syrian territory the entire time, Reuters reported.

“Our military men are fighting terrorism, sacrificing their own lives, but today’s loss is a stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Putin said the incident will have “serious consequences” for Russian-Turkish relations.

Russia supports the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey has called for his overthrow in its more than four-year civil war.

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