Turkey reports Russian missile systems radar-locked on its F-16s near Syria

Special to WorldTribune.com

ANKARA — Turkey has determined that the Syrian military was deploying a range of Russian-origin air defense systems along its border.

The Turkish military said the Syrian military was using at least three surface-to-air missile systems to track the Turkish Air Force.

Turkish Air Force F-16
Turkish Air Force F-16

The military identified the systems as the SA-2, SA-5, SA-11 and SA-17, said to have locked-on to Turkish fighter-jets.

In a statement on April 2, the Turkish military said Syrian air defense systems conducted a radar lock on six U.S.-origin fighter-jets. The military said its F-16 multi-role fighters were patrolling the border with Turkey and the lock-on lasted for more than 16 minutes.

“This was longer than in previous incidents,” the military said.

Officials said the Syrian military was reinforcing its air defense network near the Turkish border in 2014. They cited the Turkish Air Force shooting of a Syrian warplane on March 23.

Since then, the Turkish military said Syrian air defenses placed a radar lock on 45 Turkish fighter-jets. The military did not report any Syrian missile fire.

Over the last two weeks, a recording of a Turkish leadership meeting was
released that contained a discussion of a war with Syria. The opposition had
warned of a Turkish invasion of Syria on the eve of the March 30 municipal
elections. won by the ruling Justice and Development Party.

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