Turkey shoots down Syrian regime plane

Syrian PlaneTurkey has shot down a Syrian regime plane near the Kasab crossing on the border with Syria March 23, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed during an election rally.

“A Syrian plane violated our airspace, our F-16 took off and shot it down,” Erdoğan said while addressing his supporters in Kocaeli. “I congratulate our chief of general staff and our pilots.”

A second Syrian jet, which also entered Turkish airspace, was reportedly able to escape Turkish anti-aircraft fire.

“Our response from now will be heavy if you violate our airspace,” Erdoğan said, referring to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

President Abdullah Gül, who has left the country for an official visit to the Netherlands, has called army chief Gen. Necdet Özel to congratulate him.

Shortly after Erdoğan’s words, Damascus also confirmed that the plane was shot down by Turkey.

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