Turkish Downing of a Syrian Helicopter
This event, perhaps not the first or last of its kind, occurred on the afternoon of September 16, 2013, near the border between Turkey and Syria. A Syrian military helicopter said to be tracking Turkish-sponsored insurgents, purportedly went from hugging to crossing the Turkish border, with varying accounts of its severity. Turkish fighter jets then shot it down; the helicopter crashed somewhere inside Syria (we hope to set a location in time). Its pilot at least reportedly parachuted to safety, but was captured by Turkish-sponsored insurgents and beheaded.
- Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu: “No one, from now on, will dare to violate Turkish borders in any way.” (source: New York Times)
All sources agree the crash was on Syrian soil. The opposition video published by the Syrian Observatory is filmed from railroad tracks. This must be the border rail line, exact spot not certain, perhaps aling this stretch (on Google Maps), anywhere from two to four kilometers inside Syria. (See talk page for other possibilities and notes.) This is along the unusual thumb of Turkish territory around the labeled town of Asagipulluyazi, about 10-12 km southeast of the cited Yayladagi. If there is one area of the border Turkey might give a chopper pilot some leeway with sudden changes in the border, this would be the place. They was no such mercy.
The helicopter's pilot apparently parachuted and landed safely, where rebels took him captive. The SOHR posted on a video with the notes "Footage of the pilot of the helicopter that was dropped yesterday in Reef Latakia by a Turkish warplane." A video posted to Live Leak claims to show the pilot before and after, but not during, his subsequent beheading. The New York Times reported "One rebel fighter said he saw members of a jihadist brigade capture and behead a crew member. 'The fighter provided an image purporting to show the severed head of the slain Syrian airman, but neither his account nor the picture’s authenticity could be independently confirmed."
- Kadri Gursel, Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse, Sept. 18: Davutoglu: Shooting Down of Helicopter 'Punishment' for Syria:
- The Syrian helicopter that violated Turkish airspace was not actually shot down because of the violation. It was shot down because those who rule Turkey are furious and upset with the entire world and because they feel extremely isolated.
Includes flight paths and details, mainly focuses on the political context, and this idea that this was Turkey's way of venting their frustration that Syria wasn't being bombed into oblivion as "punishment" for Ghouta. It's a good case, I'm convinced that's a major part of it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:33, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
- Reuters, Turkish warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter – By Saif Tawfiq, YAYLADAGI, Turkey | Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:56pm EDT
- (Reuters) - Turkey said its warplanes shot down a Syrian helicopter on Monday after it crossed into Turkish airspace and the government warned it had taken all necessary measures to defend itself against any further such violations.
- Turkey scrambled two F-16 jets along the border between its southern Hatay province and Syria after warning the Mi-17 helicopter it was approaching Turkish airspace shortly before 2:30 p.m. (1130 GMT), the military said in a statement.
- Syria called the reaction "hasty" and accused Turkey of trying to escalate tensions along the border. ... Syria's army acknowledged the helicopter had strayed into Turkish airspace for a short time while monitoring "terrorists" moving across the border into Syria, but said it was an accident and that the aircraft was on its way back when it was shot down.
- Latakia province: A helicopter bombarding the Jabal al-Akrad area, one of the most important rebel strongholds in the province, with explosive barrels was hit and dropped in between Reef Jusr al-Shughour and northern Reef Latakia near the border line with the Sanjak of Alexandretta (Liwa' Iskandaron), fighters from the area stated that its pilot was captured by rebel fighters and that they are still searching for the other pilot). There are conflicting reports regarding the side that hit the helicopter, rebel fighters are claiming responsibility but other fighters from the area stated that a foreign (maybe Turkish) warplane targeted the helicopter and dropped it.
- New York Times: Turkey Says It Shot Down Syrian Military Helicopter Flying in Its Airspace – By KAREEM FAHIM and SEBNEM ARSU, Published: September 16, 2013
- Rebel activists in Syria asserted on Monday that a Syrian warplane had been shot down. Rebel groups quoted by the Anatolian News Agency said that rebel fighters had shot down a Syrian Air Force MIG-21. It was not possible to determine whether the rebels and Turkish officials were referring to separate episodes.
- Videos posted by rebel activists showed images of a fireball in the sky and what appeared to be someone with a parachute drifting toward the ground. One rebel fighter said he saw members of a jihadist brigade capture and behead a crew member.
- The fighter provided an image purporting to show the severed head of the slain Syrian airman, but neither his account nor the picture’s authenticity could be independently confirmed.