A Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Syrian aircraft near the Turkish-Syrian border on Saturday 16 May, sources in Turkey report. The incident is the latest in a series of air-to-air engagements between the two countries over the last 3 years.
The Syrian aircraft – of unknown type so far, but presumably a helicopter – is said to have violated Turkish airspace. The F-16 scrambled from Incirlik Air Base and used two missiles to shoot down the intruder. A search for the wreckage is ongoing. Reports say the aircraft came down on the Syrian side of the border.
On 23 March 2014, the Turkish Air Force also downed a Syrian aircraft, being a MiG-23 Flogger. In September 2013, a Syrian Mi-8 or Mi-17 Hip helicopter fell victim to a Turkish F-16 as it violated Turkish airspace, according to the Turks.
The incident that sparked it all was the downing of a Turkish RF-4E Phantom on 22 June 2012, with the loss of both crew members. The recce aircraft was flying over the Mediterranean Sea at that time.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Turkish Air Force F-16C. (Image © Elmer van Hest)