Syria Coverage

Syria Coverage

 
text size

Turkey Says it Shot Down Syrian Helicopter

Updated: Monday, September 16 2013, 01:47 PM EDT

ISTANBUL (AP) - A Turkish fighter jet shot down a Syrian military helicopter on Monday after it entered Turkish airspace and ignored repeated warnings to leave, an official said.

The helicopter strayed 2 kilometers (more than 1 mile) into Turkish airspace, but crashed inside Syria after being hit by missiles fired from the jet, Turkey's deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, told reporters in Ankara.

Arinc said he did not have any information on the fate of the Syrian pilots, but Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said rebel fighters captured one of the pilots, while the fate of the other one was unclear.

The incident is bound to ramp up tension on an already volatile border. Turkey has been at odds with the Syrian government since early in the country's civil war and has backed the Syrian rebels, while advocating international intervention in the conflict.

Arinc noted that the Turkish military had put its forces on a higher state of alert and changed the rules for engaging with the Syrian military along the border because of "'constant harassment fire from the other side."

He also noted that a Turkish jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft over the Mediterranean in June 2012. Turkey says it was hit in international airspace, but Syria insists it was flying low inside Syrian airspace.

Shells from the Syrian conflict have occasionally rained down on the Turkish side of the border, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Damascus that his country would not tolerate any violation of the border by Syrian forces.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Turkey Says it Shot Down Syrian Helicopter


Advertise with us!

Related Stories


The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


 
Watch live streaming video from syrianfreedom at livestream.com

Syria National Videos

Poll

Do you feel that the U. S. should launch a military attack against Syria?

Yes
No
Not Sure

Poll Results

50% Yes
50% No

Advertise with us!