Missing Russian jet pilot ‘picked up by Syrian army’
A Russian pilot who went missing after his jet was shot down by Turkey over Syria was rescued by the Syrian army, Russia’s ambassador to France said, the BBC reports.
Alexander Orlov told Europe 1 radio the pilot had been taken to a Russian base. However, this report has not yet been confirmed by the authorities in Moscow.
The second pilot, and a marine involved in their rescue operation, were killed, Russia’s defence ministry says.
NATO’s chief said it stood by member Turkey but echoed calls for calm.
Nato’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he backed the Turks’ assessment, but added “diplomacy and de-escalation are important to resolve this situation”.
Turkey said the jet had strayed into its airspace but Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted the Su-24 had been hit by an air-to-air missile while flying over Syrian territory.
President Putin described the downing of the plane as a “stab in the back.”