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Friday, October 21

Syria warns it will "down Turkish planes next time"

The US, Turkey’s NATO ally, has meanwhile distanced itself from the airstrikes, with State Department spokesperson John Kirby tweeting on Thursday that “contrary to some reports, US was not involved in Turkey airstrikes last night.”

Syria warns it will ‘down Turkish planes next time,’ calls bombing of Kurds ‘flagrant aggression’
Published time: 20 Oct, 2016 23:57 Edited time: 21 Oct, 2016 00:04

Damascus has reacted harshly to the bombing of Kurdish militias in northern Syria on Thursday morning by Turkey’s air force, vowing to intervene next time Ankara sends its planes over its border.

In a statement, the Syrian Defense Ministry accused Turkey of “flagrant aggression, which targeted innocent citizens,” saying that it considers it “a dangerous development that could escalate the situation.”

“Any attempt to once again breach Syrian airspace by Turkish war planes will be dealt with and they will be brought down by all means available,” warned Damascus, whose planes, which have flown in concert with a Russian expeditionary force, have been avoiding direct confrontation with unauthorized NATO jets.

Turkish artillery guns have been firing at Kurdish militias, who are now fighting against Ankara-backed rebels over territory won back from Islamic State in northern Turkey on Wednesday. Turkey said that the airstrikes took out up to 200 Kurds, though the YPG, the Kurdish militia, initially put its losses at 15. 

[Pundita Note: the senior Kurdish commander interviewed by Associated Press for what seems to have been the first Western report on the bombings, published around 5 AM EDT yesterday, with 8 AM update, put the number of Kurdish militia KIA at 10. I didn't keep up with later reports yesterday.]

Syria called the victims “150 innocent civilians” and said that “these irresponsible acts will have dire consequences that will threaten the region's stability and security.”

The US, Turkey’s NATO ally, has meanwhile distanced itself from the airstrikes, with State Department spokesperson John Kirby tweeting on Thursday that “contrary to some reports, US was not involved in Turkey airstrikes last night.”

Kirby added that US “called on all parties on the ground to avoid uncoordinated movements,”adding that they “only benefit” Islamic State terrorists.

Turkish aerial incursions into Syria have grown more frequent, as fighting has intensified around Aleppo, with at least four factions vying to take control of northern Syria, all with their own agendas.

Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011, tensions have been on the rise between the two neighboring countries, with Ankara backing armed rebels opposing the legitimate Syrian government. 

[Pundita Note: Tensions were high long before 2011, even before Bashar al-Assad was put in power by his father -- which was in 2000 if I recall without checking at Wikipedia. But yes the tensions did escalate around 2011 when Erdogan took advantage of the chaos created by the French-engineered uprising in Syria. He sent goon squads into Aleppo to wreck the city's industrial base and steal all equipment they could get their hands on from the factories there, and ship the plunder to Turkey. 

When called out on such behavior he maintains that Aleppo actually belongs to Turkey. Not a Westphalian State kind of person. In fact he's very like the Chinese in his outlook. Everywhere he looks he sees Turks.

Now as to whether Beijing sees Turks as a long-lost tribe of Chinese -- see, I keep warning Tehran about the Chinese but do they listen to Pundita. Mark my words but never mind; the Persians will have to find out the same way the Tibetans did that they are actually Chinese.

Where were we? Early '21st' Century. All right, to continue with RT's report:]

On several occasions, shelling from heavy fighting spilled over the border and into Turkey, further inflaming the situation.

In June 2012, Syria downed a Turkish military jet on reconnaissance mission over Syrian territorial waters 1 kilometer from its coast. While Syria insisted that it was acting in defense of its borders, Ankara accused it of breaching international law. 

Turkey later confirmed that the jet did enter into Syrian airspace by mistake but claimed that it was shot down in international airspace after it had left Syrian territory.

READ MORE: ‘S-300, S-400 air defenses in place’: Russian MoD warns US-led coalition not to strike Syrian army

READ MORE: Downing of Russian Su-24 bomber contributed to delay of Ankara’s Syria op – report


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