Downed in 17 seconds? Where Turkey’s story of Su-24 violating airspace just doesn’t add up


A Russian Su-24M tactical bomber performing a combat sortie over the territory of Syria in the vicinity of the Turkish border was brought down by a Turkish Air Force fighter jet. Ankara and Moscow have conflicting versions of what exactly happened on Tuesday.

Ankara claims the Russian Su-24 frontline bomber was downed after it violated Turkish airspace. The alleged violation reportedly lasted 17 seconds. The Russian military says the jet never entered Turkish territory and the Turkish F-16 fighter itself breached Syrian airspace.

Airspace violation contested

According to an official narrative that Turkey hastily put forward, its F-16 fighter jets intercepted two “unidentified” aircraft as they were approaching the Syrian-Turkish border. Both had reportedly violated airspace above Turkish territory in the south and one of them was shot at while in Turkish airspace. To back up its claim, Turkey released a flight map of the incident.

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