Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Turkey “accomplices of terrorists” and warned of “serious consequences” after a Turkish F-16 jet shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday, November 24 morning, the first time a Nato country and Moscow have exchanged direct fire over the crisis in Syria, the Guardian reports. The Russian president, speaking before a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Sochi, said the plane had been shot down over Syrian airspace and fell 4km inside Syria. Putin said it was “obvious” the plane posed no threat to Turkey. “Our military is doing heroic work against terrorism … But the loss today is a stab in the back, carried out by the accomplices of terrorists. I can’t describe it in any other way,” he said. Putin suggested the Turks were shielding Islamic State terrorists from Russian attacks, saying: “Do they want to make Nato serve Isis?” The Turkish military said it scrambled two F-16 fighter jets after a plane entered Turkish airspace in the province of Hatay at 9.20am on Tuesday, warning it to leave 10 times in five minutes before shooting it down. “This isn’t an action against any specific country: our F-16s took necessary steps to defend Turkey’s sovereign territory.” Russia’s defense ministry, in a series of tweets, confirmed that a Russian Su-24 had been shot down, but insisted the plane had never left Syrian airspace and claimed that fire from the ground was responsible. “At all times, the Su-24 was exclusively over the territory of Syria,” the defence ministry said. “The Su-24 was at 6,000 metres and preliminary information suggests it was brought down by fire from the ground. The circumstances are being investigated.” There were unconfirmed reports that both pilots were killed after parachuting from the jet. The Turkish TV network CNN Türk reported that one of the pilots was found dead. A graphic video purporting to show a dead Russian pilot has been widely circulated. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian helicopters were combing the crash site area in Jabal al-Turkman in Syria’s northern Latakia province for the pilots, and have apparently blocked wireless communications. The area near where the plane was shot down is the site of continuing clashes between forces loyal to the embattled Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and rebels fighting to overthrow him.