No bird is safe from Erdogan's deadly grasp.
An excerpt from, "Turkish fighter jets shoot down Syrian warplane in border zone" by Glen Johnson and Nabih Bulos, LA Times, March 23:
Turkish fighter jets shot down a Syrian warplane Sunday in an embattled border zone, and Turkey and Syria each insisted the plane was in their airspace when it was downed.
The downing was the latest border clash between onetime allies who have turned on one another because of Syria's 3-year-old civil war. Turkey has sided with the opposition in that conflict, angering the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.An excerpt from, "Turkey shoots down Syrian plane as elections heat up" by Fehim Taştekin, Al Monitor, March 23:
Turkey blamed Syria for what it said was an aerial encroachment Sunday, while Syrian state television said a military official called Turkey’s action “blatant aggression.” A monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said initial reports indicated the plane came down on the Syrian side of the frontier.
As Turkey was shuddering from scandals involving corruption, wiretaps and the closing down of Twitter as it neared the March 30 local elections, the Syria crisis came as a lifesaver to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As the threat that al-Qaeda was going to attack the sovereign Turkish enclave of the Tomb of Suleiman Shah inside Syria turned out to be a non-event albeit one that kept Turkey’s agenda busy for a few days, the real bomb came with the shooting down of a Syrian warplane that was attacking opposition fighters trying to capture the Syrian town of Kassab on the Turkish border. With the shooting down of the plane, the election rallies of the governing party immediately assumed the atmosphere of “our victorious prime minister.”An excerpt from, "Turkish army downs Syrian combat aircraft" Voltaire Network, March 23:
The Turkish army intervened, Sunday, 23 March 2014, to lend support to jihadist groups linked to the Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) and the Army of Islam (backed by Saudi Arabia) that it had escorted two days ago into Syrian territory, at the Kassar borderpoint.At a campaign rally, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hailed the victory after accusing Syria of having entered Turkey’s airspace, which Damascus denies. "A Syrian plane violated our airspace. Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard," he said.
Turkey—which since the beginning of the war houses the main jihadist rear bases and facilities, run and coordinated by NATO—no longer makes a secret of its military involvement in Syria.