Turkey's armed forces command said on Monday it had scrambled a total of six F-16 fighter jets in three separate incidents responding to Syrian military helicopters approaching the border on Sunday, but there was no violation of Turkish airspace.
It said in a statement the jets had been scrambled from Incirlik air base in southern Turkey in response to Syrian helicopters flying south of the Turkish province of Hatay, within 2-2.5 miles of the Turkish border.
This is the second announcement by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last week that any Syrian military unit approaching the border would be treated as a threat, in response to the downing by Syria of a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22.
The military made the first announcement about the F-16s being scrambled in response to Syrian aircraft on Sunday, saying again that six F-16s had been dispatched to patrol the border with Syria after Syrian helicopters flew near the border on Saturday. The helicopters came within four miles of Turkish airspace and there was no violation of the Turkish airspace in these earlier incidents either.
Turkey says its RF-4E Phantom jet was hit in international waters without warning, while Syria says it was hit by antiaircraft fire well within Syrian airspace.