Published On: Fri, Jun 22nd, 2012

Turkish plane shot down over Syria, details sketchy

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not bring any light to what happened to a military plane that was reportedly shot down by Syria, as he talked to media after the plane’s disappearance.

F-4E Phantom, the precursor to the missing Turkey jet fighter. Photo/U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. David Nolan

Erdogan did not confirm reports that Damascus had apologized for shooting down the plane, al Jazeera reports.

The PM also refrained from sharing any information about the fate of the two pilots, who were reported as rescued earlier. Further statements are expected after a security meeting.

Turkish and Syrian vessels were searching for the plane — which the media identified as an F-4 — and its two pilots, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a nationally televised news conference.

BBC addded that the private news channel, NTV, later cited unnamed military sources as saying that the plane had crashed off Hatay’s Mediterranean coast, in Syrian territorial waters, but that there had been no border violation.

Witnesses in the Syrian coastal city of Latakia meanwhile told BBC Arabic that Syrian air defences had shot down an unidentified aircraft near the town of Ras al-Basit.

Mr Erdogan was also said to have told Turkish reporters on a flight back from Brazil on Friday afternoon that “the other side” had expressed regret over the downing of the F-4, and also that the pilots had been recovered.

“But there are a lot of unanswered questions,” the al Jazeera correspondent said, adding that if Syria had been involved in shooting down the plane, “it would have been by far the most serious engagement on the Turkish border by a wide, wide margin”.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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