Downing of Russian jet over Syria "stab in the back by terrorist accomplices": Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a public statement about the Russian warplane shot down by Turkey earlier tonight (AEDT).
“Turkey backstabbed Russia by downing the Russian warplane and acted as accomplices of the terrorists”, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, reported by USA Today.

“The plane was hit by a Turkish warplane as it was travelling 1 km away from the Turkish border”, Putin said. “The plane posed no threat to Turkish national security,” he stressed.

Putin said the plane was targeting terrorist targets in the Latakia province of Syria, many of whom came from Russia.

“The incident will have grave consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey,” Putin warned.

The fact that Turkey did not try to contact Russia in the wake of the incident and rushed to call a NATO meeting instead is worrisome, Putin said. It appears that Turkey want NATO to serve the interests of IS, he added.

Putin said Russia respects the regional interests of other nations, but warned the atrocity committed by Turkey would not go without an answer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian President said the downing of their Russian warplane by Turkey will have “tragic consequences” to ties between the two countries.

The Turkish military said 10 warnings were issued in five minutes before the warplane of unknown nationality was shot down by two F-16 jets after breaching its airspace, according to USA Today. 

Earlier we reported:

Turkey has confirmed that it has shot down a Russian warplane, claiming it had violated Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings, the BBC is reporting.

Russia has denied that the plane crossed the Syrian border into Turkish skies.

Russia’s Defence Ministry said: “We are looking into the circumstances of the crash of the Russian jet. The Ministry of Defence would like to stress that the plane was over the Syrian territory throughout the flight.”

Russia said the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey claimed that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it ignored several warnings, according to Sky news.

Video via The Young Turks

Turkish media said one pilot had been captured by rebel forces in Syria while Moscow said the pilots’ fate remained unclear. 

The ABC is reporting that a Kremlin spokesman called the downing of the Russian warplane a “very serious incident”, but said it was too early to draw conclusions.

Footage from private broadcaster Haberturk TV showed a warplane going down in flames in a woodland area, a long plume of smoke trailing behind it.

The plane went down in area known by Turks as Turkmen Mountain, in northern Syria near the Turkish border, Haberturk said.

Separate footage from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency showed two crew members parachuting out of the jet before it crashed.

Al Jazeera reported that the plane came down in the village of Yamadi in Syria’s Latakia governorate.

A Syrian military source said the incident was being investigated.

The incident is the first time a Russian military plane has been downed since Moscow began a bombing campaign on September 30 at the request of its long-standing ally Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who is fighting a multi-faceted insurgency involving Islamic State (IS) militants and other groups.