Skip to main content

See also:

A Syrian jet has been shot down by Turkey

Flags of Turkey
Flags of Turkey
Morgue File/ Free photo

The situation in Syrian between rebels and Assad's forces remains tense. There has been fierce fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces for control of a region along the Turkey border. The Washington Post reported on March 23, 2014 after a Syrian jet allegedly strayed into Turkish airspace recently it was shot down by Turkey's military.

This incident is likely to escalate tensions between Turkey and Syria. Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan announced the shooting down of the Syrian jet at a political campaign rally Sunday afternoon. When asked why Turkey shot down the Syrian jet he said, “Why? Because if you violate our airspace, from now on our slap will be hard.”

An unnamed Syrian Foreign Ministry official says the shooting was “unprecedented and unjustifiable.” However, there has not been any indication that Syria plans to retaliate for the attack. This is the first time Turkey has shot down a Syrian plane since Erdogan threw his government’s support behind Syria’s rebels about three years ago.

Reuters reports Syria has referred to this act as blatant aggression. Syria claims the jet was pursuing rebel fighters inside Syria, but Prime Minister Erdogan insists the plane violated Turkey's airspace. The Turkish general staff says one of its control centers detected two Syrian MIG-23s and warned them four times after they came very close to the Turkish border. Relations between Turkey and Syria remain very strained at this time.