UPDATE: Rebels say they’re searching for second Russian

By News Staff


The Associated Press

A spokesman for the rebel group that captured a Russian pilot whose plane was shot down by Turkey says rebels are conducting search operations in the area to find the second crew member.

Jahed Ahmad of the 10th Brigade in the Coast, a group affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, said his group would consider exchanging the body of the Russian pilot they are holding with prisoners held by the Syrian government.

Ahmad said on Tuesday about the Russian pilot: “This is the body of a Russian member of the military who was killing Syrian people.”

He added: “We have the body and we will see what to do with it.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Turkey’s decision to down a Russian warplane near the Syria border a “stab in the back.”

Speaking at a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II, Putin on Tuesday accepted his condolences on the death of a Russian pilot who was reportedly captured and dead.

Putin said the Russian Su-24 jet was shot by a missile from a Turkish jet over Syria about 1 kilometer (just over a half-mile) away from the Turkish border, which he described as a “stab in the back by the terrorists’ accomplices.”

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.

(C) WLNE-TV 2015