Monday, September 16, 2013


Turkish warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter

ANKARA — Turkish warplanes shot down a Syrian helicopter Monday after it violated Turkish airspace and are continuing to patrol the border, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.

"Today at 1420 (7:20 p.m. EDT) an Mi-17 helicopter belonging to Syria violated the Turkish border in the Guvecci area of Yayladagi in Hatay province by 2 km (about 1½ miles)," Arinc told reporters in Ankara after a regular cabinet meeting.

"It was repeatedly warned by our air defense elements. When the violation continued, our planes ... hit the helicopter at 1425 with a missile, causing it to fall on Syrian soil."

The U.N. Security Council and fellow members of the NATO military alliance will be provided with details of the circumstances of shooting down the helicopter, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said

Turkey, one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's fiercest critics, has advocated military intervention in Syria and grown frustrated over what it sees as Western indecisiveness.

Turkey, which shares a 560-mile border with Syria, is sheltering a quarter of the 2 million people who have fled the Syrian conflict.

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Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
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