Further fog has risen over the downing of the Russian Sukhoi on the Syrian border, allegedly in Turkish airspace, by the Turks. The Russian co-pilot reports no warnings were given.
The Turks have said 10 warnings were given over a five-minute period before a 17-second violation of its airspace. US monitoring confirmed hearing them.
Now pictures identified as Captain Konstantin Murahtin have been released from his base in Syria.
“There were no warnings. Not via the radio, not visually. There was no contact whatsoever. That`s why we were keeping our combat course as usual,” he told Russian media.
Turkey has repeatedly warned Russia to steer clear of its Turkmen cousins in this part of Syria, but on Wednesday Russian aviation was striking in the border area. Murahtin said he was familiar with the airspace, but stressed the difference in speed between his SU-24 and their F15 interceptors.
Turkish television found the local Turkmen commander.
“The Russian plane bombed us first then entered Turkish airspace. The Turkish planes shot it down after the plane violated the Turkish air space. Thanks to Turkey with their humanitarian aid, Turkey is always with us,” he said.
Local Turkmen fighters initially claimed they had shot Murahtin parachuting down along with the pilot, whose body they displayed. They also claimed to have downed a rescue helicopter with an anti-tank weapon. Russia confirmed a crew member was killed.
Turkey military releases audio of “warnings’ to downed Russian plane