A Turkish fighter jet has crashed in Syrian territorial waters with some reports suggesting that it was shot down by Syria.
According to Turkish sources, the military lost radar and radio contact with the F-4 plane on the Mediterranean after it took off from Erhac Airport in the eastern province of Malatya, which borders Syria.
Turkish officials say there had been no border violation.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference there is still no confirmation of what brought the plane down, nor of the fate of its two pilots.
But Turkish media say the plane’s pilots have been rescued in the Mediterranean Sea and they are in good health.
The Turkish government called an emergency security meeting after the plane went missing. Prime Minister Erdogan and top military and intelligence chiefs will attend the meeting.
BELOW IS AN EARLIER REPORT FROM THE SAME RT LINK WHICH HAS NOW BEEN REMOVED. THE REPORT WAS UNCONFIRMED. TURKEY HAS BEEN SEEKING AN OPPORTUNITY TO INVOKE NATO'S ARTICLE FIVE TO INITIATE A FULL-SCALE WAR. THIS COULD BE THE ANTICIPATED NATO FALSE FLAG.
THE TURKISH AND SYRIAN GOVERNMENTS' HAVE YET TO RELEASE THEIR OFFICIAL STATEMENTS AS DIPLOMATIC NEGOTIATIONS ARE. UNDERWAY. IT IS SINCERELY HOPED THEY WILL BE SUCCESSFUL.
A Turkish military aircraft has crashed in Syria, according to media reports. A local witness has told RT Arabic that the plane crashed on Syrian territory and the two pilots were captured.
The plane appears to have been shot down, the witness said. The craft went down as Syrian air defense opened fire, says Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV. These reports are yet to be confirmed.
Turkey declares it lost contact with the craft while it was flying over the Mediterranean sea off the southeastern province of Hatay, which borders Syria. According to this version, the plane went down eight miles short of Syria’s territorial waters.
The Turkish daily Hurriyet also says the two pilots have been rescued by the Turkish military.
A search and rescue operation has been launched after the Turkish military lost radar and radio contact at 11.58 a.m. local time. The jet took off from Erhac Airport in the eastern province of Malatya.
BELOW IS THE LATER REPORT.
RT NEGLECTS TO NOTE THAT TURKEY IS NOT 'UNDER ATTACK' IF THEIR PLANE IS SHOT DOWN AFTER BEING DENIED PERMISSION TO ENTER SYRIA'S SOVEREIGN AIRSPACE.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not bring any light to what happened to a military plane that was reportedly shot down by Syria, as he talked to media after the plane’s disappearance.
Erdogan did not confirm reports that Damascus had apologized for shooting down the plane. The PM also refrained from sharing any information about the fate of the two pilots, who were reported as rescued earlier. Further statements are expected after a security meeting.
The plane crashed into or nearby Syrian territorial waters earlier today, according to reports. A missile fired by the Syrian defense system shattered it to pieces after which the jet plunged into the Mediterranean Sea.
Syrian vessels have joined a search operation, which was launched immediately after the Turkish military lost radar and radio contact with the craft. The plane took off from Erhac Airport in the eastern province of Malatya at 10 a.m. local time.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Syrian defense forces had been shooting at two foreign planes.
“Witnesses spotted two jets flying in from Turkish territory. One of the planes went down in Syria’s territorial waters, while the other one made off,” says Ihab Sultan, a local correspondent in Syria, told RT.
Relations between Ankara and Damascus have become marred by Turkey’s open support of the Syrian opposition, which is seeking to topple the government of President Bashar Al-Assad. On Friday, Turkey denied the Syrian government’s accusations that it is supplying rebels with arms.
Still, Turkey remains a NATO member, which means that in the event of an attack it could summon the aid of all the alliance members. In April, Turkey already called on NATO to protect its borders as cross-border fire from Syria hit a refugee camp on Turkish territory. These statements were condemned as “provocative” by Assad’s government.
International relations expert Mark Almond says in the event of a NATO intervention scenario, Turkey might launch a probing flight to assess Syria’s capabilities.
“If the NATO countries were really thinking of some kind of intervention to assist the rebels against Assad’s regime, the first thing they’ll want to do is to knock out Syria’s air forces and defense systems. So some kind of a probing flight testing Syria’s responses would be possible. But it is also possible this is a tragic mishap,” Almond told RT from Bilkent University in Ankara.
Turkey Accepts Syria’s Apologies After One Of Its Planes Was Allegedly Shot Down
Turkey’s Prime Minister appeared to accept an apology from Syria on Friday, after one of its warplanes was allegedly shot down by Syrian air defenses.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying Syria had offered a “very serious” apology for the crash.
“Syria immediately offered a very serious apology for the incident and admitted it was a mistake,” Haberturk daily newspaper quoted Erdogan as saying onboard a plane on the way to Turkey from Brazil.
“At this moment the air force and navy are conducting search and rescue operations in the western Mediterranean, and luckily our pilots are alive, we have just lost a plane,” he reportedly told the same daily.
Turkey earlier confirmed it had lost contact with one of its military aircraft while it was over the sea near the Syrian coast.
Several Lebanese media outlets reported it was been shot down by Syrian air defenses.
Prime Minister Erdogan and top military and intelligence chiefs met to discuss the fate of the plane, Anatolia news agency reported.
Al-Mayadeen television station, which is based in Lebanon, quoted Turkish military sources as saying two Turkish warplanes entered Syrian airspace in the north at roughly 12.15pm on Friday.
Syrian air defenses shot at the Turkish F-4s, reportedly downing one over its waters, while the other was damaged but managed to flee, according to Al-Mayadeen.
Two crew were aboard the F-4 at the time of the crash, the Turkish state news agency Anatolia said, citing Malatya governor Ulvi Saran.
The pair were reportedly found eight miles from Syrian shores.
Syrian and Turkish coastal guards are allegedly cooperating to recover the wreckage. Hurriyet also said the crew of the downed F-4 had been found.