Turkish military says met Russian attachés, explained downing of jet

Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar. Cihan Photo

Turkey's military invited Russian military attachés to its headquarters on Nov. 25 to explain that Ankara shot down a Russian fighter jet the previous day because its rules of engagement were invoked after the plane failed to respond to warnings, according to army sources.

During the meeting, the Turkish Armed Forces elaborated on the military's efforts to find and rescue the pilots who ejected from the fighter jet while also explaining the rationale for the incident.

One pilot, Oleg Peshkov, was killed by Turkmen forces as he parachuted to the ground, while the other, Konstantin Murakhtin, hid from rebels before being rescued by elite Syrian Army units.

The Turkish military said it had repeatedly warned Russia to abide by the rules of engagement.

"It has been repeated that rules of engagement were put into force automatically after a plane with unknown identity approached Turkish airspace despite warnings," the statement said. 

The armed forces also underlined that it had called military authorities in Moscow and expressed a readiness for "all kinds of cooperation."

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