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Turkey Says It Shot Down Syrian Helicopter


Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc

Turkey says it shot down a Syrian military helicopter after it entered Turkish airspace.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters in Ankara that a Turkish fighter jet shot down the Syrian M-17 helicopter on September 16 after repeatedly warning the pilots they had strayed into Turkish airspace.

He said the Syrian helicopter strayed some two kilometers into Turkish airspace, but crashed inside Syria after being hit by missiles fired from the jet.

Arinc said he did not have any information on the fate of the Syrian pilots.

Rami-Abdul Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said rebel fighters captured one of the pilots, while the fate of the other one was unclear.

Turkey has backed the rebels in the Syria conflict, and the incident is likely to increase tensions between the neighboring countries.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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