ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 25 (UPI) ─ The surviving pilot of the Russian fighter jet shot down by Turkey said the aircraft was not given warnings, contrary to what Turkish leaders have declared.
Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin said he and fellow pilot Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov, who died by rebel gunfire on the ground after ejecting from the aircraft, were not given any visual or radio warnings. He said he did not fly over Turkish airspace because the crew knew the region “like the back of their hand.”
Turkey said they gave the pilots 10 warnings before shooting down the Russian Su-24 jet.
The warplane was downed and crashed Tuesday in an area controlled by rebels trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a Russian ally. Turkey said it warned the Russian aircraft 10 times to move out of its airspace before firing.
“One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and [was] killed in a savage way on the ground by jihadists in the area. The other managed to escape. According to the latest information he has been picked up by the Syrian Army and should be going back to the Russian Air Force base,” Aleksandr Orlov, Russia’s ambassador in France, said.
A Russian Marine dispatched to rescue the pilots was also killed in the operation. He was aboard a helicopter sent to the contested area to find the downed pilots.
Shoigu also announced Russia will deploy its most modern air defense system, the S-400 mobile anti-aircraft designed to hit targets at long range.