Turkey says shot down Syrian helicopter
Iran Press TV
Sat May 16, 2015 2:31PM
Turkey has shot down a Syrian helicopter 'for violating its airspace,' Turkish officials claim.
'A Syrian helicopter was downed that violated the border for a period of five minutes within a seven mile (11 kilometer) limit,' Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilamz said on Saturday.
Official Syrian media, meanwhile, have said that a small unmanned aerial vehicle had been targeted.
Turkish media had earlier in the day reported that the country had downed a Syrian aircraft.
According to Turkish daily Hürriyet, a Turkish F-16 fighter jet targeted and brought down with two missiles a Syrian aircraft.
'The area is currently searched for the crashed aircraft. It would soon be seen if it was a plane or a helicopter,' an unnamed Turkish security source told the daily.
The Turkish jet started its operation from an airport in the southern Turkish province of Adana following reports that a Syrian aircraft had allegedly violated the country's airspace twice in the border province of Hatay, Hürriyet added.
The Turkish NTV news channel also reported that the aircraft subsequently crashed into Syrian territory.
In March 2014, Turkey shot down another Syrian warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border. A Syrian helicopter was also targeted by Turkish Air Force in September 2013.
Turkey has been one of the main opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since a conflict began in Syria five years ago.
Many see Ankara behind the bloody violence in Syria as it has openly supported the armed militants fighting against Assad.
Various offshoots of al-Qaeda and the ISIL Takfiri terrorists use the Turkey-Syrian border as a major supply route for obtaining heavy weapons and artillery.
Ankara is widely believed to be facilitating the flow of foreign nationals into neighboring Syria and Iraq, where they join the ranks of extremist terror groups.
Back in February, Turkey and the US signed a deal to train and arm what they called moderate militants fighting against the government of Assad.
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