GENEVA (Sputnik) – Russia’s bomber was struck down while on a mission against Islamist militants in northern Syria on November 24. One of the plane’s two pilots was killed by rebel gunfire from the ground after they ejected.
"Shooting at somebody who’s parachuted out of a plane and who is in distress would be not consistent with international humanitarian law," International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer told RIA Novosti.
He emphasized that the ICRC was not entitled to give public judgments on individual cases, and that the specifics of the incident involving the downed Russian plane needed to be established to assess which body of law was applicable to this situation.
An article in an ICRC additional protocol, as well as Hague Rules of Air Warfare, specifically forbids any attacks against persons parachuting from an aircraft in distress, excluding airborne troops.
The second pilot of the crashed Russian bomber was rescued, but a Russian special operations soldier died in the mission to save him. In the wake of the tragic incident, Russia imposed a series of economic and travel restrictions on Turkey, citing security concerns.