Turkey downs Syrian helicopter, 2 pilots dead

Turkey downs Syrian helicopter, 2 pilots dead
Mon Sep 16, 2013 22:01:41

A Syrian helicopter has crashed after it was targeted by Turkish warplanes, Turkish deputy Prime Minister has said.

Bulent Arinc said on Monday that the copter violated Turkish airspace.

"Today at 1420 (1120 GMT) a Mi-17 helicopter belonging to Syria violated the Turkish border in the Guvecci area of Yayladagi in Hatay province by 2 km," Arinc told reporters in Ankara after a regular cabinet meeting.

"It was repeatedly warned by our air defense elements. When the violation continued, our planes ... hit the helicopter at 1425 with a missile causing it to fall on Syrian soil," the official said.

Earlier reports said opposition fighters shot dead two pilots after they ejected themselves from the chopper.

Turkey has been one of the strongest regional supporters of the bloody insurgency in Syria and many militants have been infiltrating to Syria through Turkey borders.

Turkey has also been a supporter of US controversial plans for taking military action against Syria.


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