Turkish military downs unidentified drone in its airspace

Turkish military downs unidentified drone in its airspace
Ankara has announced that an unidentified drone that entered its airspace has been shot down, close to the Syrian border.
2 min read
16 October, 2015

The Turkish military said it had downed an unidentified drone, which violated its air space close to the Syrian border on Friday.

The army said that the drone had been warned three times but continued moving.

It was then "downed by fire from our aircraft on patrol, according to the rules of engagement".

NTV television, without citing its sources, said the object was a drone, and it had fallen three kilometres (1.85 miles) inside Turkish territory.

Television pictures showed the military examining the crash site. The location was not specified.

Turkey had earlier this month bitterly complained about two violations of its air space by Russian warplanes operating in Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had warned on 5 October after the Russian air space violation that Ankara would activate military rules of engagement irrespective of who violates its air space.

"Our rules of engagement are clear whoever violates our air space," Davutoglu said. "The Turkish armed forces are clearly instructed. Even it is a flying bird it will be intercepted," he added.

Turkey supports the moderate opposition in Syria and has been infuriated by Moscow's bombing campaign to support President Bashar al-Assad.

Ankara has warned that the Turkish air force would "decisively" implement Turkey's rules of engagement.

Damascus launched a major new offensive in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, not far from the Syrian border.

Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defence ministry, told Russian news agencies Friday that all Russian jets have safely returned to their base and all Russian drones "are functioning normally".

Since 2013, Turkey has shot down a Syrian military jet, a helicopter and an unmanned surveillance drone that strayed into Turkish airspace.

The incidents occurred after it changed its rules of engagement following the downing of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria.