Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
24th November, 2015
Russian MoD Facebook page
The speech of the head of the Main operations Directorate of the General staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Lieutenant General Sergey Rudskoy on the fact of the provocative actions of the Turkish air force:
“Today at 10.24 GMT. when performing a combat mission over the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkish fighter air force F-16 shot down a front-line bomber su-24M of the Russian HQs. Presumably the failure was caused by the rocket of near radius of action with thermal homing head. There was no attempt on the part of Turkish aircraft to contact or make eye contact with our crew by means of objective control. Instead, the su-24M was hit by a missile over the territory of Syria.
The crash site is on Syrian territory, FOUR KILOMETERS from the border. The crew of the aircraft ejected. According to preliminary data, one pilot died in the air from ground fire. We have exact data of objective control, showing our plane did not cross the border with Turkey. This is confirmed by Syrian air defenses. Moreover, according to radar reconnaissance of the Hmeymim airfield, it was noted the fact of a violation of Syria’s airspace by attacking aircraft from the Turkish air force.
This fact is seen as a gross violation of international law with the most severe consequences and is a direct violation of the Memorandum on the prevention of incidents and ensuring safety in the Syrian Arab Republic, concluded with the USA, extending to all countries of the coalition, including Turkey. This is probably why Turkey began emergency consultations with NATO, instead of engaging urgently in contact with the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation. Turkish military attaché in the Russian Federation declared a strong protest to the actions of the Turkish air force, which led to the loss of our plane. It should be noted that we, from the very beginning of the operation, established a direct phone line between the National control centre defense of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of defense of Turkey, but impractical use through the fault of the Turkish side has caused this event.
In order to evacuate the Russian pilots near the landing site, a search and rescue operation involving two helicopters Mi-8 was carried out. During the operation one of the helicopters, as a result of small arms fire, was damaged and was forced to make a landing in neutral territory. One marine soldier was killed. Actions conducted by the personnel of search and rescue team and the helicopter crew were evacuated and are currently at Hmeymim air base. With the territory controlled by the militants ‘ mortar fire, the helicopter was destroyed.
The operation of search and rescue for the crew of the downed Russian bomber continues. I want to emphasize that in the area of actions of the Russian aviation operation, with Syrian government forces on the ground, according to our data, there are more than 1000 fighters of the North Caucasus. Note that none of our partners and countries engaged in military operations against ISIL, they never said that in this area there are units of the so-called “moderate opposition” and that they do not recommend airstrikes on this district.
On the contrary, these areas are known as territory controlled by the most radical groups. The General staff is currently considering additional measures to ensure security of the Russian aviation base. The first action of aircraft strikes will be carried out only under the cover of fighter planes. Second, measures will be taken to strengthen air defenses. To this end, the cruiser “Moskva”, equipped with air defense system “Fort”, similar to s-300, is now in a district in the coastal area of Latakia. Be warned that all of the objectives, that represents for us potential danger, will be destroyed. Third, Contacts with Turkey in the war will be stopped”.
Video of the speech: