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russian warplane downing

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The black box of the Russian warplane downed by Turkey on the Syrian border last month is damaged, Russian investigators say.

The Su-24 jet’s flight recorder was officially opened in Moscow on December 18 in front of journalists and diplomats.

Nikolai Primak, head of the Russian investigation, said flight information appeared to be missing.

Data from the box could help resolve the dispute over the jet’s location when it was hit.

An analysis is expected to be released next week.


Photo RT

Photo RT

The downing of the jet plunged relations between Russia and Turkey into crisis, with Moscow imposing sanctions in response.

Turkey insists that the fighter jet, from the Russian air contingent deployed in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, ignored warnings to leave its airspace.

Russia says it was shot down within Syrian airspace and President Vladimir Putin vented his anger at Turkey’s government again on Thursday, accusing it of subservience to the US and of “creeping Islamisation”.

Turkey and Russia are heavily involved in Syria but take radically different positions despite both being ostensibly opposed to ISIS.

The Su-24 was shot down by F-16 fighters on November 24.

Both crew members ejected but the pilot was killed, apparently by militants on the ground while the navigator was rescued.

A Russian marine sent to rescue the crew was also killed and a helicopter destroyed on the ground.

Russia has demanded an apology from Turkey and in the meantime has imposed sanctions including a ban on package holidays, which could cost Turkey billions of dollars.

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President Barack Obama has urged Turkey and Russia to end their dispute, a week after Turkish forces shot down a Russian warplane.

After talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Paris, Barack Obama reaffirmed US support for “Turkey’s right to defend itself and its airspace”.

However, the US president stressed that Russia and Turkey should “de-escalate” their dispute.

“We all have a common enemy,” Barack Obama said, referring to ISIS.Barack Obama on Russian warplane downing

“I want to make sure that we focus on that threat,” he said.

“Turkey is a NATO ally,” Barack Obama added.

“And we’re very much committed to Turkey’s security and its sovereignty. We discussed how Turkey and Russia can work together to de-escalate tensions and find a diplomatic path to resolve this issue.”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan also spoke to reporters after December 1 meeting. He said his government wanted to reduce tensions and was “determined to keep up the fight” against ISIS.

Barack Obama and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among 150 leaders attending climate change talks in Paris.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his criticism of Russian air strikes against Turkmen rebels in north-western Syria, complaining that the area is being “continuously bombed”.

Moscow says Turkey shot down its SU-24 warplane inside Syria on November 24.

Turkey says the fighter jet entered its airspace and was repeatedly warned to leave before it was downed.

Russia has insisted its warplane did not cross the border and that it gave advance notice of the flight path to the US.

One Russian pilot was killed and the other rescued. A Russian marine was killed during the rescue operation.

Russia is a major ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes have targeted rebel groups, including ISIS.

Turkey strongly opposes Bashar al-Assad and has been accused of turning a blind eye to jihadist fighters crossing from its territory into Syria.

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The body of the Russian pilot killed after his warplane was downed by Turkish forces on the Syrian border has been flown to Ankara, to be met by Russian diplomats.

Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov’s coffin was flown to Ankara from southern Turkey. It is not yet clear when the body will be repatriated to Russia.

Turkish forces shot down the Russian military jet saying it had violated Turkey’s airspace, which Russia denies.

The incident has sparked a furious row between the two countries.

Russia announced economic sanctions against Turkey.

Rebels from Syria’s ethnic Turkmen community opened fire on Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov and his co-pilot as they tried to parachute into government-held territory on November 24.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

The rebels said the Russian pilot had died by the time he reached the ground.

On November 29, Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov’s body was received by Turkish authorities at Hatay airport on the Syrian border. A Turkish honor guard carried the coffin on to an air force plane for the flight to Ankara.

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu added that the pilot’s body had been treated in accordance with Orthodox Christian tradition.

Russian news agencies said the body was accompanied from Hatay to Ankara by the Russian military attaché, and would be met by Ambassador Andrei Karlov in the Turkish capital.

The other pilot in the plane, Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin, survived and was rescued from rebel-held territory in Syria in a special forces operation.

Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin said he wanted to go back to duty and stay in Syria, saying “someone has to pay” for his colleague’s death.

Moscow has announced a package of economic sanctions against Turkey over the Russian warplane downing on the Syrian border on November 24.

The decree signed by President Vladimir Putin covers imports from Turkey, the work of Turkish companies in Russia and any Turkish nationals working for Russian companies.

It also calls for an end to charter flights between Russia and Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to apologize to Russia.

On November 27, Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Moscow of “playing with fire” in its Syria operations. However, on November 28, the Turkish said he was “saddened” by the downing of the Russian fighter jet.Russia economic sanctions Turkey

Turkey and Russia have important economic links. Russia is Turkey’s second-largest trading partner, while more than three million Russian tourists visited Turkey in 2014.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on November 28 that there were close to 90,000 Turkish nationals working in Russia. Taking family members into account, that figure rises to 200,000, he said.

The decree also urges Russian tour operators to refrain from selling packages to Turkey, while Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has warned its citizens against non-essential travel to Russia “until the situation becomes clear”.

On November 27, Russia suspended its visa-free arrangement with Turkey.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked for a meeting with Vladimir Putin, who wants an apology from Turkey before he will agree to talks.

Turkey says the Russian plane had intruded into its airspace and ignored warnings to leave.

Moscow maintains that its SU-24 fighter jet was downed by a missile fired from a Turkish jet inside Syria.

Vladimir Putin has also firmly rejected any suggestion Turkey did not recognize the plane as Russian. He said it was easily identifiable and its co-ordinates had been passed on to Turkey’s ally, the US.

Russia has sent troops and aircraft to Syria to back up the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in the civil war.

Turkey, which is a member of NATO and of a US-led coalition in the region, insists Bashar al-Assad must step down before any political solution to the Syrian conflict is found.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is “saddened” by the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish forces on the Syrian border on November 24.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wished the incident had not happened and hoped it would not happen again.

The Turkish president has so far refused to apologize to Russia, accusing Moscow of “playing with fire” in its Syria operations.

His remarks came as Turkey warned its citizens against non-essential travel to Russia.

The Foreign Ministry said visits should be avoided “until the situation becomes clear”, citing problems such as anti-Turkish demonstrations outside Turkey’s embassy in Moscow.

On November 27, Russia suspended its visa-free arrangement with Turkey and is planning to introduce a wide range of economic sanctions.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Vladimir Putin wants an apology from Turkey before he will agree to talks.

The Turkish president again defended the incident and criticized Russia’s operations in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, whom Ankara opposes.

He renewed his call for a meeting with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Paris Climate talks next week, saying that both sides should approach the issue more positively.Recep Tayyip Erdogan Saddened by Russian Warplane Downing

“We wish it hadn’t happened, but it happened,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, quoted by the Associated Press.

“I hope something like this doesn’t happen again.”

Russia has sent troops and aircraft to Syria to back up the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad in the civil war.

Turkey, which is a member of NATO and of a US-led coalition in the region, insists Bashar al-Assad must step down before any political solution to the Syrian conflict is found.

Both countries say they are trying to rid the region of ISIS, which claimed the recent attacks on Paris, Ankara and also on a Russian airliner.

On November 27, Russia said it had strengthened its anti-aircraft defenses by moving a cruiser towards the coast and deploying new missiles at its main base.

The Moskva cruiser’s long-range air defense system will provide cover for Russian aircraft, as will the S-400 missiles which arrived on November 26.

Turkey says the Russian combat jet had intruded into its airspace and ignored warnings to leave.

Moscow maintains that the downed SU-24 fighter jet was downed by a missile fired from a Turkish jet inside Syria.

Vladimir Putin has also firmly rejected any suggestion Turkey did not recognize the plane as Russian. He said it was easily identifiable and its co-ordinates had been passed on to Turkey’s ally, the US.

On November 26, Russia on said it was drafting a wide-ranging list of economic sanctions against Turkey that would hit food imports and joint investment projects among other things.

Turkey and Russia have important economic links. Russia is Turkey’s second-largest trading partner, while more than three million Russian tourists visited Turkey in 2014.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest statement on the downing of the plane came in an address to supporters in Balikesir, western Turkey, following the murder of a senior Kurdish lawyer, Tahir Elci, in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir on November 28.

Tahir Elci was shot dead by an unknown gunman as he called for an end to violence between Turkey and the Kurdish rebel PKK group, which resumed in July.

Vladimir Putin has bitterly condemned the downing of a Russian warplane on the Turkey-Syria border.

The Russian president described it as a “stab in the back” committed by “accomplices of terrorists”.

Turkey says its jets shot at the Russian warplane after warning that it was violating Turkish airspace. However, Moscow says it never strayed from Syrian airspace.

NATO held an extraordinary meeting at member Turkey’s request to discuss the incident.

Its Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, has said allied assessment of the incident shows that the Russia warplane did fly into Turkish airspace.

One of the two crew members who ejected from the downed plane was killed by fire from the ground, the Russian military said. The fate of the other is unclear.

A Russian soldier was killed when the helicopter he was on came under fire during a search and rescue mission, a spokesman added.

Vladimir Putin warned there would be “serious consequences” for Moscow’s relations with Turkey.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said he was canceling his visit to Turkey, where he was due on November 25, over the incident.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

He also advised Russians not to visit Turkey and said the threat of terrorism there was no less than in Egypt, where a bomb attack brought down a Russian passenger plane last month.

Vladimir Putin said the Su-24 was hit by an air-to-air missile fired by a Turkish F-16 while it was flying over Syrian territory.

He said the plane had been attacked “at a height of 6,000 meters [20,000ft], 1km from the border”.

It crashed into Syrian territory 2.5 miles from the border, he added.

The plane flew over a small piece of Turkey that projects into Syria that would have taken the jet only a few moments to fly over, correspondents say.

The two crew members ejected as their burning aircraft plunged into a Syrian hillside.

Video footage has shown what appears to be the dead body of one of the flyers, surrounded by armed rebels.

Another piece of video, obtained by a Turkish news network, has shown the pilots being shot at from the ground by unidentified rebels.