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Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014

Downing of Syrian Fighter Jet Ordered Days in Advance

nsnbc : The downing of the Syrian fighter jet, which allegedly transgressed into Turkish airspace on Sunday, was reportedly ordered by Turkey’s Prime Minister, R.Tayyip Erdogan, three days before the incident.

erdogan_jet_Syria_Turkey_ADAfter the Syrian jet was shot down 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”.

nsnbc international spoke with eyewitnesses to the event on Sunday. Both eyewitnesses stated that the Syrian jet was above Syrian territory, while the attack came from the direction of the border to Turkey. The testimony was later supported by the Syrian pilot who was lucky to be able to bail out of the burning plane and to be recovered safely.

The downing of the plane came against the backdrop of increased tensions along the Syrian – Turkish border. Turkish troops have been firing artillery and tank shells in support of insurgents in the region around Kassab over the last week. The Syrian fighter pilot carried out attacks against foreign-backed insurgents in Syria’s Kassab area, near the Syrian – Turkish border, where eyewitnesses have observed Turkish special forces cooperating with the insurgents, most likely to direct Turkish artillery and tank fire against Syrian positions. An eyewitness to the event said to nsnbc:

“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”.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, the Turkish Aydinlik Daily, which is one of the most reliable sources for Turkish intelligence information, reports that the Aydinlik Newspaper has acquired crucial insider information, according to which senior members of Turkey’s ruling AKP and Turkey’s Chief of Staff held a meeting on Thursday, in which government officials asked the military to stop the Syrian jets in the border region to prevent the Syrian armed forces from making further advances against the insurgents in the region.

The downing of the Syrian jet also distracted attention from the involvement of Prime Minister Erdogan and members of his AKP administration, in bribery and corruption scandals which erupted on December 17, 2013. The AKP leadership had reportedly reached to the conclusion that such an incident would divert attention from the party prior to the upcoming elections. The final order to down the jet came reportedly from P.M. Erdogan himself.

Ch/L – nsnbc 26.03.2014

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

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