VIA| Twitter has exploded with Rumors that a Russian jet of unknown design has been shot down by Turkish anti-aircraft weapons. The reports follow earlier tweets about a night-sky explosion having been seen in the skies above Northern Syria. The plane reportedly crashed near Aleppo, which is located less than 30 miles from Turkey’s border. This reported incident has not yet been confirmed by officials, but was still quick to spread among several alternative news websites.
The rumors immediately sparked concern and fears that Turkey, a member of NATO, may be targeted by Russian forces in retaliation of the event, possibly triggering Article 5 of the treaty and leading NATO to declare war on the Russian Federation. At least one of the reports came from a Journalist, Yasser Alhaji, who is located near where the crash allegedly took place.
Unconfirmed report Russian jet is down by Turkish after interning Turkish airspace.
— yasser alhaji (@yasseralhaji1) October 9, 2015
Last weekend, two Russian planes had entered Turkish airspace with one of them acquiring a missile lock on one of Turkey’s American made F-16 fighters. The pilot maintained the missile lock for a total of 5 minutes and 40 seconds before the plane retreated back into Syrian airspace. Russia called the incident an accident due to weather, despite clear skies being reported by NOAA when the incident took place. This triggered a strong response from NATO, who is now mulling over the possibility of stationing troops in Turkey. Turkey has said that their rules of engagement are clear, and that any planes, including Russian, will be fired upon after entering their airspace. Turkey has a history of shooting down Syrian aircraft inadvertently crossing their borders, but this would make for the first time that a Russian plane should be fired upon.
— The 47th (@THE_47th) October 9, 2015
Interestingly, Turkish Air Force F-16s are responding to mysterious Mig-29’s lock ons on the border with radar lock ons.
— David Cenciotti (@cencio4) October 9, 2015
If these reports hold true, it would likely be the largest escalation between Russia and the West since the bombing in Syria began. This story may be updated if more related information should come available.