World Bulletin / News Desk
Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that the military plane Turkey shot down at the Syrian border Tuesday was a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 jet, adding that the jet did not enter Turkish space.
"Presumably as a result of firing, an Su-24 plane of the Russian forces crashed in the Syrian Arab Republic," Russian news agencies quoted the defence ministry as saying. The ministry said the fate of the pilots was not yet clear.
A U.S. official also confirmed that the Russian Sukhoi-24 was downed by an air-to-air missile near the town of Hatay, north of the port city of Latakia. The official said the aircraft's two pilots ejected from the plane and were last seen trying to evade capture.
Downed foreign jet received 10 warnings in five minutes, challenged by two F-16s, according to Turkish General Staff.
The reports suggest both pilots ejected and one of them is now taken hostage by Syrian Turkmen.
Two helicopters were raised in the air for a rescue mission, the pilots reportedly landed in a fighting area.
Turkish military says it warned the Russian jet ten times in the five minutes that it was violating airspace before shooting it down.
NATO has not issued any statement at this stage.