MIDEAST > Turkey shot down Syrian helicopter at border, Deputy PM says

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The Turkish Air Force shot down a Syrian helicopter on Sept. 16 at the border after the helicopter violated Turkish airspace, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said.

Turkish military aircraft taking off from a base in Malatya shot the M-17 helicopter after it allegedly continued to violate Turkish airspace despite repeated warnings, after which the chopper fell onto Syrian soil, Arınç said.

“It [The helicopter] violated Turkey’s border for two kilometers. It was repeatedly warned by air defense elements. Upon the continuation of the violation, it was determined that it fell into Syrian territory after being shot at 2.25 p.m. with a missile by our planes taking off from Malatya,” Arınç said.

The deputy prime minister said the initiative taken by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to shoot down the Syrian helicopter was based on the rules of engagement with Syria.

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also released an official statment after Arınç's remarks, confirming that Turkish jets had shot down the Syrian helilopter after it violated Turkish airspace.

The Syrian helicopter was followed and repeatedly warned by the Combined Control and Reporting Center (BİKİM) in Diyarbakır after being detected 26 nautical miles from Turkish airspace at 1.41 p.m. on  Sept. 16, the statement said. The helicopter then violated Turkish airspace, encroaching two kilometers (1.2 miles) into in Hatay's Yayladağ district while flying at around 14,200 feet, and landed on Syrian soil after being shot by two Turkish F-16 jets at 2.27 p.m., the TSK statement added.

Last year, a Turkish F-4 Phantom warplane crashed into the Mediterranean on June 22 after being shot down by Syria. The country’s rules of engagement changed after the incident. Turkish officials did not publicly announce details of the revised rules of engagement, but some reports claimed Turkish forces would fire on any Syrian forces approaching within five kilometers of the Turkish border on the Syrian side.

In October the same year, a shell killed five civilians in the Akçakale district of Şanlıurfa province. To protect Turkey, the United States, the Netherlands and Germany deployed batteries of ground-to-air NATO Patriot missiles and hundreds of soldiers along the Syrian border in southern Turkey at the request of Ankara.


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Notice on comments

Brit in Turkey

9/19/2013 12:02:58 PM

donald Smith: Does it not occur to you that Greece and Turkey are both NATO members. Your scenario is unlikely.

nyob nyobb

9/18/2013 3:10:34 PM

Tit for tat...

donald Smith

9/18/2013 3:04:11 AM

If the Turks can shoot down the helicopter because it entered Turkish airspace then, Greece should start shooting down Turkish airplanes that not only do they enter Greek airspace, fly directly over the Greek islands but engage in dog fights with the Greeks. Hypocrites.

Brit in Turkey

9/17/2013 8:18:54 PM

I believe the American B-52 Stratofortress had ejection seats for some of the crew that fired downwards. Isn't 14,000 feet a long way up for an unpressurised aircraft?

strömungs maschine

9/17/2013 3:14:28 PM

It seems Turkey has many helicopter specialists but they waste their time in HDN..


9/17/2013 1:22:00 PM

m.p m.p's "logical" questions assume that a helicopter which has just been shot can still be flown, and that a helicopter with a top speed of 155 mph, shot down at a height of 14,200 feet, will follow the same trajectory as a rock which has been lifted then dropped. Logic seems to come naturally to some people.

Tayyar Abi

9/17/2013 12:21:18 PM

Some of you people have been watching too many movies. A pilot CANNOT eject from a helicopter. I have jumped from many helicopters in my day but I was sitting on the floor in back with my legs hanging outside, parachute on my back and the static line hooked to the cable. Pilots can't do it dummies.

m.p m.p

9/17/2013 9:41:12 AM

Logical question : So you are a helicopter pilot you get shot over enemy territory and you have to select getting captured by terrorists that will cut your head or by the military of a country that most probable will keep you alive and parade you on the TV (i am not saying you will have good time) , what you select? Physics question: You have a rock lifted and you let it go , where it will fall?????? I think that your government is playing a game that will not end well.

turkic voice

9/17/2013 8:52:56 AM

the ejector seat is fired out side ways. and clearly the Syrian chopper was not respecting the Turkish border by the evidence or the radar. what irresponsible flying at a time of such high tension. the Syrian army should stay well clear of the Turkish border well clear.

Engin Atik

9/17/2013 5:54:49 AM

Al-Qaeda posted the footage of the chopped off head of the chopper pilot on YouTube who parachuted down after the shooting. Regardless whether the Syrian helicopter violated the Turkish border or not, being on the same side with such savagery on YouTube is an abomination. By just documenting the border violation Turkish Government could have scored a diplomatic win. Chopper probably was on a reconnaissance mission for documenting Al-Qaida movement and Al-Qaida itself accomplished their mission.
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