Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet, Pilots Killed

The flag of Turkey placed over the country's outline.

Image: Shutterstock

The Syrian civil war has been spilling across the borders in various ways of late. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have been pouring into Europe, necessitating the European Union and individual member states to address the issue officially. On November 1st ISIL bombed a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people. On November 12th ISIL they Beirut, Lebanon and killed at least 37 people, then attacked Paris on November 13th, killing 130 people.

Numerous countries are engaged in fighting ISIL or supporting one or the other side in the Syrian civil war, either the government or rebel forces, both of which are independent of, and in conflict with, ISIL. The United States is leading a coalition of NATO states which has been performing airstrikes against ISIL targets throughout Syria, and while Russia is also performing airstrikes, they are doing so independently. This makes the situation in Syria the first time since World War II that NATO and Russian forces have operated in the same theater of operations, and that’s starting to cause problems.

On Tuesday, November 24th, Turkey shot down a Russian jet which they claim had violated Turkish airspace, and which they had warned ten times within a span of five minutes while still in Syrian airspace to turn back. The jet crashed into Syrian territory, where the pilots were shot as they parachuted to the ground by Turkmen rebel forces within Syria.

Moscow has countered this story, arguing that the jet was not violating Turkish airspace and that this act was a betrayal. As tensions rise between the two nations, both have seen their stock and currency value dip as investors fear tensions could lead to conflict.

If Russia and Turkey do come to blows, even simply refusing to work together, or seeking sanctions, that would only serve to benefit ISIL.

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