Turkish Plane Reported Shot Down in Syrian Airspace
Wars begin for less.
by Stephen Lendman
On June 22, Reuters headlined "Turkish jet downed by Syria air defenses: report," saying:
According to Lebanon's Al-Manar television, "Syrian air defenses shot down a Turkish military aircraft, quoting Syrian security sources."
Reportedly it was an F-4 Phantom fighter bomber. First introduced in 1960, McDonnell Aircraft produced it. It was used extensively during the Vietnam war. More advanced aircraft replaced it long ago.
A pilot and navigator were on board.
Turkey regularly patrols airspace close to Syria's border.
Al-Manar headlined "Crisis Meeting in Turkey after Losing Contact with Military Jet near Syria," saying:
Turkey's military said it "lost radio contact with one of its aircraft on the Mediterranean near neighboring Syria."
At 7:30 GMT, the plane left Malatya airbase. At 8:58GMT, communication was lost "in the southwest of the Hatay province bordering Syria...."
Search and rescue efforts began. It's unconfirmed officially if the plane crashed or was shot down. Its pilot and navigator were reported unharmed.
"Malatya governor Ulvi Saran told the Anatolia news agency that it was a F-4 plane with two pilots onboard...."
In response to the incident, AFP said Turkey convened a crisis meeting.
Other reports are circulating. Russia Today (RT.com) said Syria apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan for downing its aircraft.