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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syria Says Intercepts Turkish Fighter

RIA Novosti

08:12 23/06/2012

MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Syrian armed forces command said it had shot down a Turkish F-4 Phantom fighter over Syria, Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Saturday.

“At 11:40 a.m. on June 22, 2012, an unidentified aerial target violated Syrian airspace, coming from the west at a very low altitude and at high speed over territorial waters,” a military spokesman said in a statement as quoted by SANA.

“The Syrian anti-air defenses counteracted with anti-aircraft artillery, hitting it directly as it was 1 km away from land, causing it to crash into Syrian territorial waters west of Om al-Tuyour village in Lattakia province, 10 kilometers from the beach,” he said.

The spokesman added that the target turned out to be a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian airspace and was dealt with “according to laws observed in such cases." He added that two missing pilots are being searched for.

Earlier the Turkish General Staff said that the F-4 took off from an airbase in Malatya in southeastern Turkey and disappeared from radar screens at about noon over the Mediterranean Sea near the border with Syria.

According to UN estimates, over 10,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

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