On March 23 Turkey claimed it shot down a Syrian warplane.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the news: “A Syrian plane breached our airspace; our F-16s took off and hit that plane.” He said this was a message to Syria: “If you breach my airspace, our slap will be heavy handed going forward.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, this marks Ankara’s “first assault against the Damascus regime’s fighter jets” which brings with it “an escalation of tensions along the 565-mile border that serves as the main line of support for rebel fighters trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad.”
The attack against the Syrian plane is but the latest of events showing increasing tension between the two countries.
Islamist factions have also been “launching attacks on Syrian government forces since March 21st” as part of a new offensive. Turkey denies “assisting rebel forces.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org