A Syrian jet was shot down by Turkish armed forces on Sunday following an incursion into sovereign air space. According to authorities in Istanbul, the plane strayed into a region close to the border in which rebels have been fighting Syrian armed forces. According to Reuters, the pilot managed to eject from the aircraft before it crashed.
Addressing an election rally on Sunday, the beleaguered Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who recently closed down Twitter in his own country, told his supporters, "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 hard."
Erdogan: 'A Syrian plane violated our airspace'
Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been battling rebels in the Kasab crossing close to the border, with Damascus complaining that rebel forces have been aided by the Turkish military. The Syrian government responded by calling the incident "blatant aggression", adding that the plane had not violated Turkish air space.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, "Turkish air defences targeted a Syrian fighter bomber as it struck areas of the northern province of Latakia. The plane caught fire and crashed in Syrian territory."
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