Turkish forces have shot down a Syrian fighter jet, saying it encroached into Turkish airspace. Syria disputed the plane's position, saying it was over Syrian territory when it was hit.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that a Syrian plane had violated the country's airspace.
"Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard," he told supporters in northwest Turkey during a rally ahead of local elections on March 30.
Syrian rebels have been battling government forces loyal to Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, for the border post of Kasab.
Authorities in Syria accused Turkey of "flagrant aggression" for attacking the fighter jet, with a military source telling the official SANA news agency that the jet was inside Syrian territory as it attacked rebels near the Syria-Turkey border.
According to the Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the plane came down on the Syrian side of the border. State television quoted a military source as saying the pilot managed to eject.
It's not the first time Turkey has shot down a Syrian military aircraft - ahelicopter was shot down
in September 2013.
se/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)