Turkey transfers pilot body from downed Su-24 aircraft to Russian diplomats

29 November 2015 (Last Updated November 29th, 2015 18:30)

Turkey has recovered and handed over the body of lieutenant colonel Oleg Peshkov, pilot of the Russian Su-24 bomber that was downed in northern Syria, to Russian diplomats.

Turkey has recovered and handed over the body of lieutenant colonel Oleg Peshkov, pilot of the Russian Su-24 bomber that was downed in northern Syria, to Russian diplomats.

On 24 November, the Turkish Air Force's F-16 aircraft launched an air-to-air missile and intercepted the Su-24 aircraft over claims that the jet breached the country's airspace despite repeated warnings.

Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted by Hurriyet Daily News as saying: "The Russian pilot, who lost his life during the airspace violation was delivered to our border yesterday night at 1:45 am.

"The Russian pilot, who lost his life during the airspace violation was delivered to our border yesterday night at 1:45 am."

"The body will be handed to Russia on their request after our initiatives."

Details regarding how the body was recovered or transferred across the border remain undisclosed.

However, Russia claims that the aircraft was flying over Syria and was struck unprovoked, reported Reuters.

The Russian Defense Ministry was quoted by Interfax news agency earlier as saying: "The plane stayed exclusively above the territory of Syria throughout the entire flight."

Konstantin Murakhtin, the co-pilot of the Su-24 aircraft, was rescued by Syrian Special Forces units and was transferred to a Russian base in Syria.

Calling the incident 'a pre-planned provocation', Russian President Vladimir Putin has imposed economic sanctions against Turkey.

The sanctions include a ban on some goods as well as restrictions to extensions of labour contracts for Turkish citizens working in Russia, among others.

Russia is currently launching air strikes against rebels in Syria near the Turkish border.

According to newspaper Sabah Daily, Turkey had strengthened its security along its Syria border by deploying additional tanks, armoured personnel vehicles and other weapons.