Turkish F-16 jets shoot down UAV near Syria - defence ministry

Turkish F-16 fighter jets on Sunday shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near the country’s Syrian border after what the Defence Ministry called multiple violations of Turkish airspace.

The UAV, whose nationality is unknown, violated Turkish airspace a total of six times both near the country’s southeastern town of Kilis, located along  Syria’s border, and in parts of northern Syria "liberated by Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016-2017,’’ the ministry said. 

The F-16s that brought down the UAV took off from Turkey’s southern İncirlik air base, state-run Anadolu news agency said, adding that wreckage of the UAV was found by provincial gendarmerie forces near the Çıldıroba base in Kilis. 

Turkey has conducted two operations into northern Syria -  in 2016 and 2018 - to clear the areas of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group it maintains is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and members of the Islamic State (ISIS).