A Russian air force Su-24 fighter-bomber was downed on the Turkish-Syrian border on Tuesday morning, Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
A Turkish military official told the Reuters news agency that one of its F-16 interceptors shot down an unidentified aircraft that had violated its sovereign airspace.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that the downed jet was an Su-24 flying out of its air base in Latakia, from where Moscow is conducting bombing missions in Syria.
However, Russia has contested Turkey's claim that the Su-24 violated its airspace — prompting the Turkish F-16 to down the aircraft.
“An Su-24 of the Russian aviation group has crashed in Syria after alleged fire from the ground,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement, RIA Novosti reported.
“The plane was flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters. The fate of the pilots is still unknown. According to the preliminary data, the pilots were able to eject,” the statement said, asserting the aircraft was “located strictly in Syrian airspace.”