Turkey released audio proving it warned the Russian Su-24 pilots several times before shooting it down near the Syrian border.
In english, the warning stated the Russian bomber are approaching the Turkish border and ordered the aircraft to”change your heading south immediately.”
According to the Turkish military, its F-16 pilots warned the incoming aircraft from an “unknown nationality” more than 10 times over 5 minutes. However, the Russian Su-24, according to Ankara, only flew inside the Turkish border for 17 seconds.
One of the two pilots, Captain Sergey Rumyantsev, was killed by the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) 10th Coastal Division near Latakia. Captain Konstantin Murakhtin was rescued in a 12-hour joint by Russian and Syrian special forces operation. One Russian Marine was killed during the combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) mission when its Mi-24 Hind crashed due to FSA incoming fire.
Turkey, on the other hand, remains firm that its pilots acted accordingly and followed the country’s rules of engagement (ROE) over airspace violation. They are also ready to work in “all kind of cooperation” with Russia over the incident.
Rescued Russian pilots denies Turkey gave warning
Captain Konstantin Murakhtin told Russian media that Turkey never issued warning and that its Su-24 never entered Turkish airspace.
“In actual fact, there were no warnings at all. Neither through the radio, nor visually, so we did not at any point adjust our course. You need to understand the difference in speed between a tactical bomber like a Su-24, and that of the F16. If they wanted to warn us, they could have sat on our wing,” said Murakhtin, who is currently recuperating at Russia’s airbase in Latakia, northern Syria.
Murakhtin, 39, won the top navigator award at Russia’s biggest military flying competition last year and will return to its duty as soon as he is declared fit.
“I must ‘pay back’ the debt for my captain,” said Murakhtin.
Captain Sergey Rumyantsev will receive Russia’s highest honor, the Hero of Russia, posthumously.
Moscow and Ankara has been fighting on the opposing side in Syria whereas Russia supports Assad and Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition.