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Friday 2 December 2016

Turkey releases tapes of warnings to Russian jet

Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 bomber, insisting it had violated its airspace
Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 bomber, insisting it had violated its airspace

Turkey has released audio recordings of what it says are the Turkish military's repeated warnings to the pilot of the Russian plane before it was shot down at the border with Syria - audio that grows increasingly more agitated.

The recordings indicate the plane was warned several times on Tuesday that it was approaching Turkey's airspace and asked to change course.

Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 bomber (inset), insisting it had violated its airspace. It was the first time in half a century that a NATO member shot down a Russian plane.

A surviving Russian pilot has denied that his jet veered into Turkey's airspace and rejected Turkey's claim that it had issued repeated warnings.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that Turkey still hadn't apologised for downing the plane or given assurances that "the culprits of this crime" will be punished.

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Russia, accusing it of using its fight against the Islamic State group in Syria as a pretext to target opposition groups including the Turkmen, in a bid to strengthen Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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