ISTANBUL: Turkish officials said that an aircraft believed to belong to the Syrian military crashed near the Turkey-Syria border Saturday, with the Syrian opposition telling Turkish media they shot the plane down.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters that "we have information that a MIG model plane belonging to the Syrian regime" had crashed near the town of Samandag in Hatay province.
Hatay governor Erdal Ata told state-run Anadolu news agency that rescue teams had arrived at the wreckage and reported that the cockpit was empty, confirming earlier reports by local villagers who claimed to have observed the pilots ejecting.
Ahmed Karaali, spokesman for the opposition military group Ahrar al-Sham, told Anadolu that they shot the plane down because it was bombing the countryside in the northwestern Syrian town of Idlib.
Turkish media said earlier that local villagers had called authorities to report the crash at around 6:30 p.m.