Turkish probe finds jet downed by Syria in international airspace

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A Turkish jet that crashed in June was downed after a Syrian missile exploded nearby in international airspace, the Turkish army said Wednesday (September 19th).

The probe by the army prosecutor into the downing of the two-seater F-4 Phantom found that the jet crashed into the eastern Mediterranean after a Syrian missile exploded near its rear side, the army said in a statement reported by AFP.

The final report says the Turkish plane fell "due to the blast effect that incapacitated the pilots and the plane," causing a dramatic loss of altitude. The two pilots aboard were killed.

The report reiterated Turkey's official position that the plane was shot down in international airspace, a claim rejected by Damascus.

In July, Syrian President Bashar Assad told a Turkish newspaper that he regretted that his country's defence forces shot down the jet, but insisted the plane was in Syrian airspace at the time.

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