ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The Turkish jets were deployed to the border area after a Syrian military aircraft approached Turkish airspace.
Syrian air missile batteries put two Turkish F-16 jets conducting a sortie in the southern province of Hatay along the border under a radar lock, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement Jan. 2.
The Turkish jets were deployed to the border area after a Syrian military aircraft approached Turkish airspace, the statement said. It added that the Syrian SU-24 changed its route to the opposite direction at five nautical miles from Turkish airspace.
“Missile batteries deployed in Syria have harassed two F-16 planes performing an air patrol duty by putting them under a radar-lock and [renewing] it eight times for a total of five minutes and 10 seconds,” the statement said.
Syrian air defense systems put Turkish jets under radar lock during previous incidents in November 2013.
A radar lock is considered a hostile act as it amounts to interfering with a plane’s navigational systems by indicating that a missile is ready to be fired at it.
A Turkish F-4 jet that was flying over the Mediterranean Sea was downed by Syria on June 22, 2012, causing an international uproar.
More recently, Turkey shot down a Syrian helicopter on Sept. 16 after arguing that it had violated Turkish airspace by two kilometers.