Turkey 'downs drone’ on Syria border

The origin of the drone is unknown

The drone was shot down by two F-16 jets. AP
The drone was shot down by two F-16 jets. AP

Turkey's air force downed an unidentified drone on the Syrian border after it breached Turkish air space multiple times, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

The drone was detected near the border by the military and intruded into Turkish airspace six times before it was shot down Turkish jets on Saturday.

Two F-16 jets were scrambled to deal with the incursion, taking off from Incirlik military base in southern Turkey, the defence ministry said, sharing pictures of the downed drone on its official Twitter account.

The drone was shot down 1.24 pm local time, falling near the Cildiroba base in the Kilis province near the Syrian border. The origin of the drone is unknown.

Turkey's national security council, bringing together the country's civilian and military leaders, is due to meet on Monday led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the Suyria conflict expected to feature high on the agenda.

The Turkish air force shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft in the Turkey-Syria border area in 2015, sparking an unprecedented crisis in the two countries' relations.

That was condemned by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "stab in the back" but the two countries later reconciled and worked together on the Syrian crisis although they remain on opposite sides of the conflict.

Turkey backs rebels seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow is one of the few remaining allies of the regime in Damascus.

The Turkish military conducted two offensives in northern Syria against the Islamic State and Kurdish militia forces in 2016 and 2018.

The two NATO allies, Turkey and the United States, reached a deal last month to establish a safe zone between the Turkish border and Syrian areas east of the Euphrates river controlled by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Published: September 30, 2019 03:13 PM


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