Syria deployed anti-aircraft missile batteries along the Turkish border in what seems to be a response to an incident last week when a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Syrian plane, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported.
Syria deployed the anti-aircraft weapons and “is ready to deal with any hostile Turkish plan that enters Syria’s airspace,” sources from the Syrian army and Hezbollah told Al-Rai on Monday.
Meanwhile, Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi criticized Turkey in an interview on Syrian TV Sunday evening, saying that the country is facilitating the continual entry of armed terrorist groups into the Kassab area in Latakia, the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA reported on Monday.
Latakia is a stronghold of President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Zoubi accused some Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of backing terrorism.
Syrian air defense systems have “harassed” Turkish F-16 fighter jets patrolling their own airspace by repeatedly putting them under “radar lock,” suggesting they were about to be fired at, the Turkish military said on Thursday.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday, comes only days after Turkey downed a Syrian warplane that Ankara said had violated its airspace, in an area where Syrian rebels have been battling Assad’s forces.Reuters contributed to this report.