Turkey Says Shoots Down Intruding Syrian Helicopter
Turkey has said its fighter jets have shot down a Syrian helicopter violating its airspace.
According to Syrian state TV, however, the aircraft that was shot down on Saturday in Turkey’s Hatay province was a surveillance drone, Reuters reported.
Turkish daily Hurriyet quoted military officials as saying that the Syrian aircraft was shot down by a Turkish F-16 jet which took off from the Incirlik airbase in the southern province of Adana.
Turkish Defense Minister ?smet Y?lmaz said a Syrian helicopter that entered Turkish airspace shortly after 2 pm (1100 GMT) on Saturday and flew about 10 km inside over a period of five minutes was fired upon and shot down.
The Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement an aircraft had been shot down. They didn’t elaborate on the type of the aircraft, only saying its pieces fell across the border in Syria.
This is not the first time Turkish armed forces have shot down a Syrian aircraft, AFP commented in its coverage of the news.
In March 2014 Turkey shot down a Syrian warplane, and a Syrian helicopter was taken out in September 2013.
NATO member Turkey is one of the strongest critics of Syrian President Bashar Assad and is backing rebels trying to oust him from power.
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