Syria missile systems harass Turkish jets 375 times in 2014
Syrian air missile defense systems have locked onto Turkish military aircrafts 375 times in 2014.Syrian air missile defense systems have locked onto Turkish military aircrafts almost 400 times this year, as compared to only once in 2012, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has disclosed.
Yılmaz’s explanation came in response to a motion filed by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Ankara deputy Özcan Yeniçeri, who questioned the frequency of radar locks on Turkish military aircrafts by Syrian missile systems since March 2011, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Nov. 7.
According to figures provided in a written statement by Yılmaz, the number of such harassments by Syria on Turkish military aircraft was limited to one incident in 2012. In 2013 this number rose to 37 and in 2014 the number has reached 375 times.
Eleven of those 375 incidents took place in January, four in February, 104 in March, 134 in April, 37 in June, and nine each in both July and August, said Yılmaz.
After enjoying a decade of friendly bilateral relations under the current Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which has been in power since 2002, the relationship between the two neighboring countries has changed dramatically following the March 2011 uprising in Syria.
Due to conflict in Syria over the last few years, Ankara has loudly voiced its objection to the Syrian regime, openly calling for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and actively supporting dissidents.
Turkey, meanwhile, hosts more than 1.5 million refugees from Syria’s civil war and has been pushing the United States and its allies to create a safe haven for refugees on Syrian territory. Any such move on the southern fringe of its border would require a no-fly zone policed by foreign jets.