Two members of the Russian military were killed Tuesday after a Russian aircraft was struck by a Turkish missile, NBC News reported.
One of the two who died was a pilot, who ejected from their aircraft along with another aviator, after it was struck by a Turkish missile, Russian Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said in a statement.
The other was a Marine aboard an Mi-8 helicopter dispatched to a contested area along the Turkish/Syrian border to find the downed pilots, said Rudskoy, who did not name either of the servicemen.
"In the course of the operation, one of helicopters was damaged by small arms fire and performed an emergency landing in the neutral area," his statement read. "One contract serviceman — member of Marine Troops — was killed."
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The missile strike has prompted a furious backlash from the Russian government, and Rudskoy closed his statement by declaring that "contacts with Turkey will be terminated at the military level."