Turkish army says chopper may have been downed by PKK
AA photoThe Turkish army has admitted that an attack helicopter that crashed on May 13 in a combat in the southeastern province of Hakkari may have been shot down by an air defense system used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) despite initial statements suggesting the crash occurred due to a technical fault.
In a written statement issued six days after the crash, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said the helicopter that was deployed to the Çukurca district of Hakkari to provide air support to a military outpost experiencing a PKK attack may have been hit by militant fire.
Although investigations are continuing, the army said it believed that the chopper was shot down by an air defense system weapon, most probably a missile.
Two pilots in the helicopter as well as six troops defending the outpost were killed while 13 were wounded in the ambush, the statement said, adding that 13 militants were killed by troops on the same day.
In a statement issued on May 13, the army said the helicopter was downed because of an accident due to technical reasons but video footage posted on a pro-PKK website increased the suspicions that it may have been hit by a missile used by militants.
Unconfirmed news reports suggested that the PKK might have used man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), known as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).