According to witnesses, Turkey scrambled two fighter jets to the Syrian border in response to an army helicopter bombing the Syrian border town of Azmarin, Reuters reported.
Tensions between Ankara and Damascus have run high following a brief cross-border shelling attack last week, and after Turkey grounded a Syrian commercial jet en route from Moscow to Damascus on Wednesday over suspicions the plane was carrying illegal cargo.
Azmarin has been the site of recent fighting between the opposition and the Syrian government, with several refugees fleeing the violence by crossing the border into Turkey yesterday. The town is approximately one kilometer from the Turkish border.
Turkish PM Ergodan alleged that the Moscow-to-Damascus commercial flight diverted to Ankara on Wednesday was carrying munitions for the Syrian army. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it received no explanation from Turkey detailing the plane’s cargo and its seizure.
"It is absolutely clear who sent the cargo and who was going to receive it. This was munitions from the Russian equivalent of our Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation being sent to the Syrian Defense Ministry," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists, referring to the state-run Turkish manufacturer that supplies the country's army.
"The examination [of the seized cargo] is continuing and the necessary will follow," Erdogan said.
Turkey did not identify the source of the allegations. Immediately after entering Turkish airspace, the commercial plane was diverted by Turkish F-16s to the Ankara airport, where it was searched for 9 hours.