Wednesday 13 December 2017

Turkey shoots down drone at border with Syria

The military said earlier in a statement that it had shot down an unidentified aircraft
The military said earlier in a statement that it had shot down an unidentified aircraft

Turkish military jets have shot down an unidentified drone that officials said violated the country's airspace at the border with Syria.

The aircraft was shot down after it ignored three warnings for it to leave, a military statement said.

The military said it was not clear which country the drone belonged to.

Turkey earlier this month complained about violation of its airspace by Russian warplanes.

The intrusions also drew strong condemnation from its Nato allies.

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry, told Russian news agencies that all Russian jets have safely returned to their base and all Russian drones "are functioning normally".

Since 2013, Turkey has shot down a Syrian military jet, a helicopter and an unmanned surveillance drone that strayed into Turkish airspace.

The incidents occurred after it changed its rules of engagement following the downing of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria.

Turkish foreign minister Feridun Sinirlioglu said the drone crashed about two miles inside Turkish territory.

He said: "We have not been able to establish who the drone belongs to, but we are able to work on it because it fell inside Turkish territory."

Russia strongly denied ownership of the drone.

"I state with absolute responsibility that all our drones are either performing tasks or staying at the base," said Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov, of the Russian military's general staff, at a meeting with foreign military attaches in Moscow.

Press Association

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