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MENAFN - Arab News - 24/03/2014
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(MENAFN -Arab News) ankara: turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan on sunday congratulated the military for downing a syrian warplane near its border and warned of a 'heavy" response if its airspace was violated

'our response from now will be heavy if you violate our airspace" erdogan said during an election rally addressing the regime of president bashar assad

'i congratulate the chief of general staff the armed forces and those honorable pilots... i congratulate our air forces" said the premier

Syria on sunday accused its northern neighbor of 'flagrant aggression" after turkish forces shot down the warplane as it bombarded rebels near the border

Turkish media reported that the army warned two syrian jets approaching its border to turn away but scrambled its f-16 jets when one refused to abide by the warning

President abdullah gul called chief of staff general necdet ozel to congtulate him

'turkey has shown its determination to protect its border" he was quoted as saying by turkish media

Parliament speaker cemil cicek said turkey acted within its rights under international law media reported

The syrian observatory for human rights said the plane was striking the northern province of latakia when it was hit catching fire and crashing in syrian territory

Turkish warplanes last year downed a syrian helicopter which ankara said was detected two kilometers inside turkish airspace

Turkey toughened its rules of engagement after the downing of one of its fighter jets by the syrian air force in june 2012 to say that any military approach of the turkish border from syria would be considered a threat

Turkey a staunch opponent of the regime in damascus hosts more than 750000 refugees from the three-year syrian conflict many of them in camps along the border.


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