The Turkish military released Wednesday what it said was an audio recording of a warning to a Russian fighter jet before it was shot down near the Syrian border, Reuters reported. However, the Russian pilot who survived the incident said he received no warnings from Turkey and maintained he did not fly over Turkish airspace.
After Turkey shot down the Russian warplane Tuesday for allegedly crossing into its airspace, tensions increased between the two countries that support different sides in the Syrian civil war and have been on edge for some time. Each country disputed the details and both characterized the event as an act of aggression.
On the new audio recording, which was initially reported by Turkish media, a voice can be heard speaking English and issuing a warning to “change your heading south immediately.” “This is Turkish air force speaking -- en garde. You are approaching Turkish airspace,” it says.
Turkey says this warning was repeated multiple times for five minutes but was ignored by the Russian Su-24 plane, the Independent reported. This contradicts what the Russian pilot who survived the incident told the BBC Wednesday.
The two Russian pilots auto-ejected from the fighter jet after it was hit. Although Syrian rebels initially claimed to have killed both pilots, Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin was rescued after a 12-hour operation by Russian special forces, government officials said. His co-pilot is believed to have been killed by rebel gunfire as he parachuted from the plane.
U.S. military officials have supported Turkey’s account, but have urged the country to de-escalate the situation. Turkey is a member of NATO, and the country requested an emergency NATO meeting Tuesday in response to what it said was Russia crossing its border.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a “stab in the back.” He warned there would be consequences, and Russian officials said Turkey’s willingness to shoot down the Russian jet showed the country was supporting ISIS.