Turkish jets shoot down Russian warplane violating airspace

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ANKARA 

Turkish jets have shot down a warplane believed to be a Russian-type SU-24 after it violated the Turkish air space.

The incident happened Tuesday near Turkey’s southern border with Syria, Turkish presidential sources said.

The warplane went down near Syria’s northwestern Turkmen town of Bayirbucak.

Turkey’s military said the downed foreign jet was given 10 warnings in five minutes before being shot down by two F-16 fighter jets.

“A warplane of unknown nationality that breached Turkish airspace over Hatay’s [province] Yayladagi region at 9.20 a.m. [0720 GMT] was alerted 10 times in five minutes,” Turkish General Staff said in a statement, adding that the F-16s’ response was in line with rules of engagement.

The military added that Turkish planes patrolling the region encountered the warplane at 09.24 a.m. local time.

Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar briefed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the situation following the incident.

Akar, along with Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu, also briefed Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

According to footage from the scene, the plane’s two pilots could be seen ejecting safely before the aircraft hit the ground in a huge of plume of smoke.

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