A Russian military jet engaged in combat operations in Syria was shot down by Turkish fighter jets near the border between Turkey and Syria on November 24, 2015, and crashed in northern Syria. According to Turkish officials, the Russian jet had entered Turkish airspace and ignored several warnings to depart.
Russian officials denied that the jet had ever left Syrian airspace. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the shootdown as a “stab in the back” and said that the jet had never posed any threat to Turkey. The two-man crew ejected from the jet but were reportedly killed by rebels.
In recent years Turkey and Russia have found themselves on opposite sides of the Syrian Civil War, with Russia supporting the Assad regime and Turkey backing the anti-Assad rebels. Tensions rose in September 2015, when Russia began to conduct air strikes against the rebels to support Assad.
The Russian jet is the first Russian or Soviet aircraft to be publicly acknowledged to have been shot down by a NATO member since the 1950s.
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