Six F-16 warplanes took off from air bases in Incirlik and Batman, after Syrian helicopters flew too close to the frontier on three occasions on Saturday, Turkey’s armed forces said in a statement on Sunday.
The move follows the mobilization of Turkey’s tanks and air-defense systems to the border, according to the country’s state TV channel TRT.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the rules of engagement had changed, and any Syrian military action close to the border would be treated as a threat that would be “dealt with accordingly.”
The standoff over the weekend comes amid heightened tensions between the former allies.
Last month, Syria shot down a Turkish F-4 warplane, which strayed briefly into Syrian airspace. Turkey says the plane was shot down, however, while it was in international air space.
In a statement on Thursday, Turkey’s chief of general staff said in a statement that an area measuring 70 miles by 23 miles had been scanned, but no bodies, nor the wreckage of the plane, had been discovered.
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