UPDATE: 4:08 a.m. EST -- Russian and Syrian special forces transported the second pilot of the Russian warplane that was shot down over Turkey Tuesday to a Russian airbase in the Syrian coastal province of Latakia, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Wednesday, according to RT.com.
Another pilot of the Su-24M fighter jet was killed by Syrian rebels from the ground while he parachuted from the downed plane.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that his country did not seek an escalation after the downing of the Russian warplane, and added that Turkey did so for its security and the "rights of our brothers" in Syria.
"We will continue our humanitarian efforts on both sides of the (Syrian) border. We are determined to take all necessary measures to prevent a new wave of immigration," Erdogan said, according to Reuters.
UPDATE: 2:39 a.m. EST -- The Syrian army has picked up one of the two Russian pilots who ejected from a Sukhoi Su-24M warplane shot down by Turkey, Russia's ambassador to France told Europe 1 radio Wednesday, according to Reuters.
"One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and 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 told Europe 1 radio, Reuters reported.
Turkey shot down the Russian warplane Tuesday, accusing Moscow of violating Turkish airspace. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack calling Turkey “the accomplices of terrorists.”
Russia will deploy a missile cruiser near the Syrian coastal province of Latakia in response to Turkey’s downing of the Russian war jet Sukhoi Su-24M, the general staff of the Russian Armed Forces said Tuesday. Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, a spokesman for the general staff, warned that Russia will also destroy any target that might pose danger to its Hemeimeem air base in Latakia.
Under new measures for the security of the air base, Russia will also send fighter jets for Moscow’s air campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, where it has previously carried out airstrikes.
Russia’s response came hours after Turkey shot down the Su-24M jet on Tuesday, alleging that Moscow ignored repeated warnings and violated Turkish airspace. The incident killed at least one of the two pilots.
"[The] cruiser Moskva, equipped with Fort air defense system, similar to S-300, will assume position in the coastal region of Latakia. … Contacts with Turkey on military lines will be discontinued," Rudskoi said, in a statement, according to Sputnik News.
The Moskva missile cruiser is a prime vessel and one of the two biggest ships in the Russian Black Sea fleet, RT.com reported. Since late September, Moskva, which has been deployed in the eastern Mediterranean, has served as a covering force for the Russian air forces in Syria, the report added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called the downing of the Su-24M as “stab in the back” and termed Turkey “the accomplices of terrorists.”
"Neither our pilots nor our jet threatened the territory of Turkey. This is obvious. They [the pilots] are fighting terrorists in the northern areas around Latakia, where militants are located, mainly people who originated in Russia, and they were pursuing their direct duty, to make sure these people do not return to Russia. These are people who are clearly international terrorists," Putin reportedly said.