Turkey downed a Syrian warplane that crossed into its airspace, escalating already inflamed tensions with its neighbor as the Turkish government battles widening corruption allegations.
The Turkish air force fired a missile today at a Syrian MiG-23 that had ignored four warnings and briefly penetrated 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) into Turkish airspace, Turkey’s military said in a statement.
“A Syrian plane violated our airspace. Turkish F-16s took off and shot it down,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during an election rally in Kocaeli province, east of Istanbul, ahead of March 30 local elections. “Our slap will be heavier if you violate my airspace again.”