Turkish fighter jets downed a Syrian jet on March 23 arguing that it crossed into Turkish airspace. AA Photo
The moment when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Syrian Mig-23 was accidentally captured on live television, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Habertürk TV was broadcasting a live program from Turkey’s border with Syria when the aircraft was shot down in the background on March 23. Correspondent Murat Karataş and cameraman Hasan Dönmez interrupted the program to show the smoking wreckage of the jet on the Syrian side of the border, reporting that the roaring of the Turkish jets were still being heard.
Turkish fighter jets downed a Syrian jet on March 23 after it crossed into Turkish airspace, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
announced during a pre-election rally in Kocaeli.
“They [Syrian jets] violated our borders, our airspace. Our F-16s took off and downed a plane,” Erdoğan told thousands of voters who gathered to watch him speak. “Our response will be heavy if our airspace is violated. I congratulate our armed forces, our honorable pilots and particularly our chief of general staff.”
Two Syrian MIG-23 fighter aircrafts approached Turkey’s airspace along the Turkish-Syrian border at around 13:00 p.m. While one of the planes diverted its course after four warnings, the other plane violated Turkey’s airspace at 13:13 p.m. by about a kilometer. It then continued to head west and flew in Turkish airspace for about one and a half kilometers, according to the office of the Turkish Chief of Staff. The pilot of the downed aircraft reportedly survived the incident, having evacuated with a parachute.
Syria denied that its jets had violated Turkish airspace and accused Turkey of “flagrant aggression.”