Daily Israel Report

Turkish Warplane Disappears - Is Syria Responsible?

Turkish warplane disappears over the Mediterranean, reports say it may have been shot down by Syrian security sources.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 6/22/2012, 11:04 PM

A Turkish Air Force F-4 warplane (file)
A Turkish Air Force F-4 warplane (file)
Reuters

A Turkish warplane disappeared over the Mediterranean on Friday and reports said it may have been shot down by Syrian security sources.

According to a report in the British Daily Mail, the F4 jet disappeared Friday morning over the eastern Mediterranean Sea, southwest of the Turkish province of Hatay, which borders Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said there is still no confirmation of what happened to the jet nor is there confirmation of the fate of its two crew members.

Turkey's military confirmed it lost contact with the aircraft over the sea close to the border with Syria, saying it believed it crashed in Syria or in Syrian territorial waters.

The Daily Mail quoted Lebanon's Hizbullah-owned Al-Manar television station as having claimed that Syrian security forces were responsible, after a source told the TV channel that Syrian air defenses shot down the Turkish military aircraft.

Turkey's state-run television said that Syrian vessels had joined the search for the missing Turkish military jet.

A Turkish air force jet went down in Syrian waters on Friday, but Turkey's prime minister said he could not confirm media reports that it had been shot down by Syrian forces.

The Associated Press reported of media speculation that Syria had apologized for downing the Turkish aircraft. Erdogan could not confirm this information, however,

“I cannot say it was downed, without definite information. It is not possible to say that,” Erdogan was quoted by AP as having said in a nationally televised news conference.

This latest incident could further threaten relations between Syria and Turkey, after the latter has joined nations such as the United States in saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad should step down because of the uprising in his country that has killed thousands of people.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)