Turkey abandoned the idea of bombing Syria's anti-aircraft weapons and missile systems on the countries’ border at the last minute in the wake of last month’s downing of a Turkish jet, daily Sabah reported today.
F-16 warplanes were reportedly prepared to fly to Syria to conduct the bombings when the bodies of the downed jet’s pilots were found in the sea.
There were also three other factors preventing Turkey from conducting the sortie, according to reports.
The first factor was that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were not familiar enough with the Russian antiaircraft systems deployed in Syria as the defenses had not yet been tested by Turkish jets, Sabah reported.
The TSK also held back because it had not yet been revealed how the Turkish jet had been shot down, the newspaper said.
Most importantly, however, Turkey chose not to attack because of the political risk attached to such a bombing campaign. Attacking Syria could have damaged the country's image at the same time that Ankara has been supporting Middle Eastern peace efforts, authorities decided, according to the daily.
Syria downed the Turkish jet on June 22 in the eastern Mediterranean.