Originally appeared at RTS, translated by Igor exclusively for SouthFront
Syrian rebels have shocked the world with the attack on two Russian pilots who ejected after the Turkish Air Force struck their plane. It is against the Geneva Convention to the attack pilots of warplanes who have ejected, after their plane is hit.
The group of Syrian rebels fired on two Russian pilots as they parachuted in Syrian territory.
One pilot was saved by the Syrian army, while the other, as proved by Moscow, was injured during the landing, after which he was killed by Jihadists.
The pilots flew in a Russian Su-24 bomber near the Syrian-Turkish border, when they were shot down by a Turkish fighter, because they allegedly violated Turkish airspace.
In the video that the rebels recorded themselves, you can see a couple of fighters opening fire on the Russian pilots who were at that moment parachuting down to earth.
Article 42 of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention, adopted in 1977, prohibited the attack on the people that descend by parachute after jumping from a disabled aircraft.
The same Article provides that the person who came down to earth, the territory controlled by the enemy, must be given an opportunity to surrender before becoming the target of attack, unless they take hostile action.
These provisions of protection, according to this section shall not apply to landing forces even while in the air.
The shooting of Russian plane caused a sharp reaction of Moscow.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has accused Turkey that the shooting of the Russian Su-24 has led to a war crime.
And military regulations of the former Yugoslavia forbade an attack on the pilots who descend by parachute, except in the case of landing attack, even if the plane has not reached the area in which its target of the attack was.
However, at the beginning of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia there was a case over the Paski bridge in Croatia, when the pilot ejected after his plane hit. The recording was made by Croatian soldiers with the call of one of the soldiers to kill the pilot. “Let’s kill him, let’s kill the pilot,” you could hear the members of the Croatian armed forces say.