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Syrian minister: Thought downed Turkish plane was Israeli

JTA

June 27, 2012 | 3:44 pm

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on June 26. Photo by REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on June 26. Photo by REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Syria shot down a Turkish plane believing it was an Israeli plane, a Syrian government minister said.

Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi told a Turkish news channel Wednesday that the confusion stemmed from the fact that both Israeli and Syrian fighter planes largely are American-made.

The plane was downed last week; a second Turkish plane was downed several days later on June 22.

“As you know there is a country called Israel there and as you know this Zionism country’s planes are very similar and because they both are from the same factory, from the U.S., maybe Syria thought it was an Israeli plane,” Zoebi told the Turkish A Haber channel on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. He said his government did not want to spark a crisis with Syria.

Turkey said its entrance into Syrian air space was an error and apologized, CNN reported.

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