Code 175525
PublishDate: 8 Year Ago

Tensions between Turkey and Syria rose, as Ankara said it scrambl

Tensions between Turkey and Syria rose Sunday, as Ankara said it scrambled fighter jets after Syrian helicopters flew close to the border, underlining the mistrust between the neighbours after the downing of a Turkish plane last month.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted Sunday that a jet fighter shot down by Syria last month was in international airspace, dismissing a US newspaper report that it was downed inside Syria as untrue.

Erdogan waded into the row at a meeting of his AKP party, saying that the Wall Street Journal had “unfortunately published a story which is not true”.

The comments follow a report Saturday in the newspaper citing US intelligence that claimed the plane was “most likely hit by shore-based anti-aircraft guns while it was inside Syrian airspace”.

Turkey has repeatedly said its F-4 Phantom warplane was downed without warning in international airspace on June 22, although it admitted that it had violated Syria’s airspace for a short time and “by mistake”.

The Turkish military gave further details in a statement Sunday, saying the plane had been inside Syrian airspace “for about five minutes”.

“We see no indication that it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile” as Turkey says, an unnamed senior US defence official was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Meanwhile four F-16 warplanes took off on Saturday from Incirlik airbase after Syrian helicopters flew 6.5 kilometres closer to

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