Of course, the United States government is taking Turkey's side. While Russia is claiming they weren't near Turkish airspace, The U.S. is claiming to have heard the Turkish fighter issue several warnings over the radio. Putin has accused the US of sharing the flight path of their fighter jet with Turkey.
To make things worse, a rescue helicopter was sent to the scene and was immediately shot down by Islamic fighters. One of the pilots was killed while parachuting from the plane and the whereabouts of the other is currently unknown.
Syrian rebels have allegedly obtained the body of the dead pilot and are holding it hostage.
President Obama, at a joint press conference with French President François Hollande, cautioned that information about the incident was still emerging and discouraged escalation. He added that Turkey had a “right to defend its territory and its airspace.”
The president said the shootdown underscored an “ongoing problem” with Russia's military operations in Syria, where the Russians have been targeting groups near the Turkish border. The incident also shows a need to move forward quickly on a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Syria, he said.
Russia said the Su-24 was downed by artillery fire, but Turkey claimed that its F-16s fired on the Russian plane after it ignored the warnings.
Putin warned that the incident would have “significant consequences” for its relations with Turkey and criticized Ankara for turning to NATO to discuss the incident instead of first explaining to Russia what happened.
A U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that the Russian Su-24 was downed north of the Syrian port city of Latakia.
The official told Fox News that the Su-24's two pilots parachuted and were last seen attempting to evade capture. Two Russian helicopters were airborne to attempt a rescue mission.
A video that was later released by Syrian rebels showed one of the pilots dead, while the fate of the other one is unclear.
Jahed Ahmad of the 10th Brigade in the Coast, a rebel group, told The Associated Press that the two Russian crew members tried to land in their parachutes in government-held areas after they ejected, but came under fire from members of his group.
He added that rebels shot one of the pilots, who landed dead on the ground on Tuesday.
The group released a video showing gunmen standing around a blond pilot whose face was bruised and appeared dead.
Ahmad said his group would consider exchanging the body of the pilot with prisoners held by the Syrian government.
“This is the body of a Russian member of the military who was killing Syrian people,” he said. “We have the body and we will see what to do with it.”
The situation is certainly heating up exponentially. Turkey openly supports ISIS, the United States does so clandestinely. They players are outlined and for the past few months military around the world has been preparing.
Now all that is needed is the spark – we appear to have that right now.
CIA operative Bob Baer spoke to CNN:
“This mosaic in the Middle East of conflict is getting out of control,” Baer said Tuesday on CNN's “Out Front.” “It's not just Russia and Turkey, it's Iran and Saudi Arabia. It is expanding rather than contracting, and nobody has a strategic plan.”
Baer said he wouldn't be surprised if there is a wider conflict between Turkey and Russia unless the United States steps in.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will respond, he said, including putting batteries or surface-to-air missiles in Syria.
“I wouldn't put it past him. He's not going to back down,” Baer said. Putin has said Russia's military presence in Syria is an act of self-defense because people from the North Caucuses are going to Syria, getting training and one day will come back.
“That's the way he framed this conflict,” Baer said. “The chances of this escalating from here without deconfliction of any sort are pretty good.”