Turkey shoots down Syrian jet in apparent violation of airspace
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Turkey shoots down Syrian jet in apparent violation of airspace

İstanbul : Turkey | Mar 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM PDT
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Syria accuses Turkey of being 'hasty' after downing one of its helicopters

The Turkish government said its air force engaged a Syrian aircraft and shot it down after the fighter jet allegedly strayed into Turkish air space.

Turkey and Syria, though allies in the past, have been at loggerheads particularly over the past 3 years, as the Turkish government has been actively supporting the Syrian opposition in its fight against the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

While the two governments have had brief exchanges, like the present incident, in the past they have waged a cold war of sorts that will seemingly continue with the ongoing civil war in the country.

The downing of the Syrian jet was announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was addressing a rally of supporters, in which he revealed that the incident took place Sunday near the Turkish border where Syrian government and rebel forces were apparently fighting.

"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 this will be hardErdogan said while also congratulating the Turkish air force for shooting down the plane.

The incident was confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said in a statement that, "Turkish air defenses targeted a Syrian fighter bomber as it struck areas of the northern province of Latakia. The plane caught fire and crashed in Syrian territory."

The Syrian government has responded by saying that the act was one of "blatant aggression" and that the fighter was in Syrian territory at the time. It is believed that the fighter pilot was able to eject before the jet crashed.

This is not the first time that the two sides have taken "pot shots" Last September Turkey shot down a Syrian helicopter near its border and in 2012 Syria shot down a Turkish plane that was apparently in violation of its airspace.

As a result of the ongoing civil war, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the country into Turkey and other neighboring nations and so far, more than 10 million people have been displaced within and without the country.

Talks between the Syrian government and the opposition held recently ended in stalemate as both sides disagreed on the exact nature of a proposed transitional government.

Source

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26706417

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arkar is based in Seattle, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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