Turkey is handing over the body of Russian pilot to Russia, according to media reports.
That Russian was killed by Syrian rebels after his jet was shot down by the Turkish military over violation of its flying zone rules.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday said that the pilot’s body is being sent to Russia by air from the border province of Hatay.
On Russia’s request, the pilot’s religious rites were performed by a church in Hatay. The pilot was able to jump from the crashing jet, but he was killed by Syrian rebels. He was identified as Lt. Col. Oleg Peshkov. The other pilot also parachuted out, and he was rescued by a joint team of Syrian and Russian special forces.
According to Turkish official, the Russian jet was shot down for the violation of its airspace. They claimed that the plane was given repeated warnings, but it did not leave the Turkish territory.
On the other hand, Moscow is saying that it was a planned scheme, and the plane did not enter Turkish space. In addition, Russia says that Turkish military shot down the aircraft without giving any warnings.
No matter what were the reasons for the shot down of the Russian plane, this incident will have an impact on the region political and military situations.
Russia issued economic sanctions on Turkey on Saturday.
Russia ended chartered flights from Russia to Turkey, and suspended a visa-free travel between the countries. Russian tourism companies have been banned from selling vacation packages to Turkey. Further, Russia put a ban on import of certain Turkish goods.
In Syria, Russia is supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey and NATO want rebel groups. The shot down of Russian plane would make the situation more complicated.
Image Source: Pavel Vanka / Falcons of Russia