Turkish fighter jets piloted by members of the nascent coup targeted a plane carrying President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Reuters reported on Monday.
According to the report, rebel-controlled F-16 fighter jets harassed the president’s jet and locked weapons onto it as well as its escorts.
President Erdogan, who was on vacation at the time of the coup, was targeted on route to Istanbul.
“At least two F-16s harassed Erdogan’s plane while it was in the air and en route to Istanbul,” a Turkish military officer told Reuters. “They locked radars on his plane and on two other F-16s protecting him.”
The officer added that there was no apparent reason why the intercepting rebel jets did not shoot down the president’s plane.
“Why they didn’t fire is a mystery.”
A senior Turkish official confirmed that the president’s jet had been “in trouble in the air”, though he declined to elaborate. He added that rebel jets had bombed President Erdogan’s suspected location – but only after he left, saying Erdogan “evaded death by minutes.”
The death toll from the failed uprising had risen by Monday to over 290.