Turkey’s armed forces command said the jets took off on Monday when Syrian transport helicopters were spotted flying near the frontier, without entering Turkish air space. It was the third day in a row that Turkey had scrambled its F-16s.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told a Turkish daily he wished his forces had not shot down a Turkish jet last month and that he would not allow tensions with Turkey to lead to war.
The downing of the Turkish F4 in disputed circumstances has aggravated hostility between Damascus and Ankara, which has raised its military profile to try to keep Syrian helicopters from Turkey’s border zone where rebels and refugees are camped.
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