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Russian Downed Su-24 Bomber Ambushed by Turkish Fighter Jets in Syria

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A pair of Russian Su-24 combat aircraft was ambushed by Turkish F-16 fighter jets in the attack on November 24 that destroyed one on the Russian warplanes, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Turkish F-16s being on duty need a total of 46 minutes to leave Diyarbakir Air Base in southeast Turkey and reach the place needed to launch the missile, he specified.

"The radar surveillance data confirms that two F-16 fighter jets were patrolling the flight zone for an hour and 45 minutes at an altitude of 2,400 meters [some 7,800 feet], which speaks of a deliberate action and their readiness to attack from an ambush over the Turkish territory," Bondarev told reporters in Moscow.

Turkish F-16 Jet Directed at Su-24 From Ground

One of the Turkish F-16 fighter jets was directed at the Russian Su-24 bomber aircraft from the ground.

"The method of guidance of F-16 aircraft into effective engagement zone directly, but not along the pursuit course curve shows that the fighter jet was directed from a ground control station," Bondarev explained.

According to the commander, actions of the Turkish jet after the missile launch over the Syrian territory, an accelerated turn with loss of altitude to the lower margin of the air defense detection area, also points at treacherous and planned actions of the Turkish crew.

The fighter jet stopped maneuvers in the area of patrolling and commenced missile launching a minute and 40 seconds before the Su-24 maximum proximity to the Syrian-Turkish border, he added.

No Warnings

Verification means based at the Russian airbase in Syria recorded no warning coming from a Turkish fighter that downed a Russian jet this week, according to Russia's Aerospace Forces commander.

"The Hmeimim airfield’s objective monitoring data and the leading aircraft did not register a single request by the Turkish aircraft crew addressing our pilots on the previously arranged frequency," Bondarev outlined.

On Wednesday, one of the pilots of the Russian Su-24 military aircraft that was shot down by Turkey said that the crew received no warnings from the Turkish side.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that the Su-24 described as an unidentified military plane entered Turkish airspace, received at least 10 warnings in a span of five minutes, but continued its violation.

Downed While Attacking Terrorists

The Su-24 was carrying out an airstrike on terrorist targets on Syrian territory some five kilometers away from the Turkish border when it was attacked by Turkish F-16 fighter jets.

"According to radar tracking data, it was the Turkish warplane that crossed into the Syrian airspace for about 40 seconds to a depth of two kilometers [6,560 feet], while the Russian fighter-bomber never violated the Turkish border," Bondarev said.

He added that the Turkish F-16 fighter jet launched an air-to-air missile while the Russian warplane was readying to carry out a second attack on terrorist positions.

Shootdown Footage Pre-Planned

A person who filmed the downing of the Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Force knew exactly the time and the place of the attack, and did it from the territory controlled by terrorists from North Caucasus and former Soviet republics, the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces noted.

"The angle of the filming allows determining the place it was done from. It's located on the territory controlled by radical terrorist groups whose members originated from the North Caucasus and former Soviet republics," Bondarev stressed.

According to Bondarev, the preparedness for the event's media coverage in Turkey is amazing. In particular, Turkish private broadcaster posted the video showing the aircraft crash on Youtube just 1.5 hours after the incident occurred.

Assessing the incident, Bondarev called it "an unprecedented act of perfidy."

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