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Turkey to hand over Russian pilot's body after Syria downing

November 29, 2015 4:32 pm

Turkey is preparing to send back to Moscow the body of the Russian pilot who was killed after his plane was shot down on the Syrian border.

Lt Col Oleg Peshkov’s body was received by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border earlier in the day.

Turkish forces shot down the plane saying it had violated Turkish airspace, which Russia denies.

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The incident has sparked a furious row between the two countries, with Russia announcing sanctions against Turkey.

Rebels from Syria’s ethnic Turkmen community opened fire on Lt Col Peshkov and his co-pilot as they tried to parachute into government-held territory on Tuesday.

The rebels said he had died by the time he reached the ground.
His body was flown from the border to the Turkish capital Ankara on Saturday afternoon, from where it will be taken to Russia.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu added that Lt Col Peshkov’s body had been treated in accordance with Orthodox Christian tradition.

Another pilot in the plane, Capt Konstantin Murakhtin, survived and was rescued from rebel-held territory in Syria in a special forces operation.

Capt Murakhtin said he wanted to go back to duty and stay in Syria, saying "someone has to pay for his colleague’s death.

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