Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border, the country’s army says.
Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace.
Last month, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet in the border area.
The incident further strained already tense relations between former allies.
Turkey’s government has been outspoken in its condemnation of Syria’s response to the 16-month anti-government uprising, which has seen more than 30,000 Syrian refugees enter Turkey.
On Friday, Turkey said it had begun deploying rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along the border in response to the downing of its F-4 Phantom jet on 22 June.
The move came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey had changed its rules of military engagement and would now treat any Syrian military approaching the border as a threat.
Syria said the Turkish F-4 was shot down by air defence fire inside its airspace. Turkey insists it was downed by a missile after briefly entering and the leaving Syrian airspace.
The plane crashed in the Mediterranean, off the coast of the southern province of Hatay. Its pilots are still missing.
Mr Erdogan spoke of Turkey’s “rage” at the incident and described Syria as a “clear and present threat”.
Nato condemned the attack and voiced strong support for Turkey, after Ankara invoked Article 4 of Nato’s founding treaty, which entitles any member state to ask for consultations if it believes its security is threatened. …
Speaking of Turkey, just yesterday I had a craving to hear “Istanbul” by “They Might Be Giants.”
Well, I thought TMBG wrote it, but this seems to be an earlier version:
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, forming the country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart. … Founded on the Sarayburnu around 660 BC as Byzantium, the city now known as Istanbul developed to become one of the most significant cities in history. For nearly sixteen centuries following its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, it served as the capital of four empires—the late classical Roman Empire (330–395), the Eastern Roman (“Byzantine”) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before the Ottomans conquered the city in 1453 and transformed it into an Islamic stronghold from which the last caliphate ruled. Although the Republic of Turkey established its capital elsewhere, in Ankara, remnants of Istanbul’s previous central role still remain highly visible across the city, with palaces and imperial mosques lining its hills. … – wikipedia