Turkey Scrambles Warplanes, Says Syrian Copters ‘Close’ to Border

Turkey Scrambles Warplanes, Says Syrian Copters ‘Close’ to Border | Cross-border tensions remain high as Turkey continues to add to defenses

Syrian helicopter gunships have been launching attacks against rebel targets in the nation’s north for awhile, but today the tensions with Turkey are on the rise again, as Turkish warplanes have been deployed over claims that the helicopters were too close to the border with Hatay Province.

Syria and Turkey are longtime allies, but their relationship has worsened dramatically since the Free Syrian Army (FSA) began operating out of Turkish territory. The downing of a Turkish warplane by Syria just over a week ago has made the border a tense one indeed, and Turkey has been building up its defenses in the area ever since, nominally as a “warning” to Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to treat any “hostile movements” near the border as a military target, and Turkish officials have called on NATO to treat the shootdown as an attack on the entire military alliance.

Syria, for their part, has downplayed the seriousness to the border tensions, saying that the shootdown was the result of an airspace violation and that they didn’t know it was a Turkish plane. Syria’s present interests seem more internal, with a growing civil war, and they would likely prefer to keep Turkey out of it as much as possible.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • R.C.

    As for keeping Turkey out…it's already a bit too late for that.

  • klyde

    Turkey they just keep licking western boots and keep getting kicked in the teeth for their trouble. How's that EU accession woking out for you. Well perhaps they'll speed things up after you help the neo-colonialist take out Assad.

  • whiskeypapa

    Speaking of licking boots, why is the US doing all the dirty work for that small criminal state?