ANKARA (Sputnik) — Pilots of a Turkish F-16 jet informed the Commander in Chief of the Turkish Air Force, Abidin Unal, and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Mehmet Sanver before shooting down the Russian Su-24 jet on Tuesday, local media reported Friday, citing a source.
"Within five minutes, Turkish Air Force Commander Abidin Unal and Air Force Chief of Staff Mehmet Sanver, were briefed. When the pilots did not receive a command to cancel the procedure [to attack the aircraft, according to Turkish regulations to respond to a threat], successfully implemented it," the newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying.
Unverified audio recordings circulating online contain barely audible voices identifying themselves as the Turkish Air Force and calling to "change your heading south immediately." The address in the audio does not mention threats to fire a missile.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the audio recording of radio exchanges between the Turkish pilots with warnings to the Russian Su-24 aircraft pilots was a fake.