Turkey scrambles jets as Syrian choppers near border

Border between Syria and Turkey

    Just Watched

    Tensions between Turkey, Syria continue to rise

Tensions between Turkey, Syria continue to rise 03:45

Story highlights

  • The jets are scrambled three different times, Turkish military officials say
  • Tensions between the two nations are rising
  • Syria shot down a Turkish plane on June 22

Turkey scrambled fighter jets three separate times Saturday as Syrian helicopters neared the border between the two countries, Turkey's military said Sunday.

The helicopters were in Syrian airspace, but were getting close to the border, the armed forces statement said.

The jets -- a total of six -- were scrambled twice out of Incirlik, and once out of Batman, it said.

The incident underscores rising tensions between the two nations in the wake of Syria's downing a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet on June 22.

Turkey deploys troops, tanks to Syrian border

    Just Watched

    Activists report massacre in Duma, Syria

Activists report massacre in Duma, Syria 02:04
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Clinton discusses new agreement on Syria

Clinton discusses new agreement on Syria 01:38
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Syria and Turkey: Unsettled neighbors

Syria and Turkey: Unsettled neighbors 13:08
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    NATO, Turkey slam Syria over downed jet

NATO, Turkey slam Syria over downed jet 04:22
PLAY VIDEO

Both Syria and Turkey acknowledged the plane strayed into Syrian airspace, but Turkey said the incursion was accidental and quickly corrected.

Turkey's National Security Council said last week the nation would act against "hostile action" by Syria. Turkey also bolstered its forces along the border.

    Also, Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan said his country was changing its military rules of engagement and would treat a military approach toward its borders by Syria as a potential threat that "will be dealt with accordingly."

    The downing of the jet drew sharp condemnation from NATO, but the alliance did not promise any action in response to the incident. Turkey did not invoke the NATO article calling for collective defense of members, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh has said.

    A senior U.S. official said Turkey asked NATO members to study a range of ways a no-fly zone could potentially help the situation and ease threats. It was "not clear what, if anything, will be done," the official said last week.

    A search for the pilots of the downed jet was ongoing. The wreckage of the plane has also not been located.

    A man from the border village of Guvecci, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said Thursday military personnel and equipment had been arriving for the past two or three days. Turkish state television also reported air-defense systems and tanks were among the equipment.

    Clinton: World may not succeed in Syria

    Opinion: Is Turkey moving toward 'hard power' over Syria?

    Official: Syria might have thought downed jet was Israeli