Deputy PM: Turkish warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter

Turkish warplanes shot down a Syrian helicopter on Monday after it violated Turkish airspace and are continuing to patrol the border, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said, APA reports quoting Today’s Zaman.

"Today (September 16) at 14:20 (1120 GMT) an MI-17 helicopter belonging to Syria violated the Turkish border in the Güveççi area of Yayladağı in Hatay province by 2 km," Arınç told reporters in Ankara after a regular cabinet meeting.

"It was repeatedly warned by our air defence elements. When the violation continued, our planes ... hit the helicopter at 14:27 with a missile causing it to fall on Syrian soil."

Earlier reports said opposition fighters shot dead two pilots after they ejected themselves after their chopper was hit.

After violation, a number of Turkish fighter jets from a Malatya military air base dispatched to the area and shot down the helicopter, Arınç said. The Turkish deputy prime minister also said Turkey has no information on Syrian pilots as the helicopter fell on the Syrian side of the border.