Published On: Sun, Mar 23rd, 2014

Downing of Syrian Jet Part of Turkish Military Offensive against Syria

nsnbc : A Syrian military jet has been shot down near the Syrian – Turkish border after after it violated Turkish airspace, reports Turkey’s Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan, saying that Turkish F-16s downed the jet. Eyewitnesses inform nsnbc that the jet was over Syrian territory and that the downing of the jet is part of a Turkish military offensive against Syria in the Kassab area the in Lattakia province of Syria.

Jet_Turkey_SyriaEarlier on Sunday, Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed Turkish media, saying that the Turkish armed forces had downed a Syria jet after it violated Turkish airspace. Erdogan said:

“A Syrian plane violated our airspace. Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after it will be hard”.

While the first reports were sketchy, nsnbc has spoken with eyewitnesses to the event who stressed that the Syrian plane had not violated Syrian airspace and that the downing of the plane is part of a Turkish military offensive. One of the two eyewitnesses said:

“The jet did not approach the region from the direction of the Turkish border and it was not headed toward the Turkish border when it was struck and burst into flames. It looked like a missile was fired at the plane from the direction of the border”.

Click on map to enlarge.

Click on map to enlarge.Whether the Syrian jet violated Turkish airspace or not will have to be determined by radar tapes. What is certain at this time, is that Turkish artillery and tanks target Syrian positions, and that Turkish special forces have been observed in the region.

The second eyewitness confirmed the statement and added:

“We have seen Turkish special forces alongside the terrorists in the Kassab area two days ago and others have seen them too. The Turkish military has fired heavy and medium caliber artillery rounds and tank shells at our army positions over the last days, I think the special forces are directing their fire. Erdogan is launching an offensive and supports the takfiri. The downing of the jet was part of that transgression”.

Both eyewitnesses are confident that the pilot has managed to eject from the burning plane, but hesitate to provide additional information over the phone or Skype out of concerns for the pilots and their own safety.

The Syrian military also reports that the jet was over Syrian territory, stating that it was shot down while carrying out an attack against insurgents. The Syrian government described the attack as unprecedented and unjustifiable, and reflecting Turkey’s actual involvement in the events in Syria from the beginning and up to now.

Ch/L – nsnbc 23.03.2014

Read more in our coverage of Syria with news, analysis and opinion, in nsnbc international – your daily, independent online newspaper.

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  1. RuthM says:

    The Al Qaeda and Muslim Brother troops are losing.Israel and Turkey get more directly involved. Turkey is a NATO member. That should have legal consequences I presume?

  2. NOGLADIO says:

    Erdogan and corrupt parts of the Turk military, rot in h…

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