2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown

A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M attack aircraft near the Syria–Turkey border on 24 November 2015.[1][2] According to Turkey, the aircraft was fired upon while in Turkish airspace because it violated the border up to a depth of 2.19 kilometres (1.36 miles) for about 17 seconds after being warned to change its heading ten times over a period of five minutes before entering the airspace.[3][4] The Russia Defence Ministry denied that the aircraft ever left Syrian airspace, claiming that their satellite data showed that the Sukhoi was about 1,000 metres (1,100 yd) inside Syrian airspace when it was shot down.[5]

2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown
The Su-24M aircraft that was shot down, two weeks before the event.
Date24 November 2015 (2015-11-24)
SummaryShot down by Turkish F-16 fighter jet
SiteSyria–Turkey border
Aircraft typeSukhoi Su-24M
OperatorRussian Air Force
Flight originKhmeimim airbase, Syria

The U.S. State Department said that the U.S. independently confirmed that the aircraft's flight path violated Turkish territory, and that the Turks gave multiple warnings to the pilot, to which they received no response and released audio recordings of the warnings they had broadcast.[6][7] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed out that Turkey had the right to defend its airspace.[8] Although Russian president Vladimir Putin said that the U.S. knew the flight path of the Russian jet and should have informed Turkey, two U.S. officials said that Russia had not informed the U.S. military of its jet's flight plan.[9]

The Russian pilot and navigator both ejected from the aircraft. The navigator Konstantin Murakhtin was rescued, but the pilot Oleg Peshkov was shot and killed by Syrian rebel ground fire while descending by parachute.[10] A Russian marine from the search and rescue team launched to retrieve the two airmen was also killed when a rescue helicopter was targeted by the rebels.[10][11]

The incident was the first destruction of a Russian or Soviet Air Forces warplane by a NATO member state since an attack on the Sui-ho Dam during the Korean War in 1953.[12][13][14] Reactions to the incident included denunciation from Russia and an attempt to defuse the situation by NATO afterwards. Russia deployed the guided missile cruiser Moskva armed with S-300F (SA-N-6 Grumble) long-range SAM missiles off the Syrian coast near Latakia[15] and S-400 (SA-21 Growler) mobile SAM systems to Khmeimim airbase. In response, the Turkish Armed Forces deployed the KORAL land-based radar electronic support system in Hatay Province along the Turkish–Syrian border.[16][17]

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