ANKARA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian missile system " harassed" five Turkish F-16 fighter jets by locking radar for more than 10 minutes, the Turkish armed forces said in a statement on Tuesday.
During their mission on Monday, five Turkish F-16 jets were " harassed" 12 times by SA-2, SA-5 and SA-17 surface-to-air missile systems, which are deployed in Syria, by locking radar onto them for 10 minutes and 53 seconds in total, said the statement issued by the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The F-16 jets were on a routine patrolling near the Turkish- Syrian border and they moved to the region as four Syrian aircrafts approached to Turkish airspace in Yayladagi and Cilvegozu of Hatay province in southern Turkey, the statement said.
As the warplanes intercepted them, the Syrian aircrafts moved away, only a few sea miles away from the Turkish border, the statement added.
On Sunday, the Turkish military said it shot down a Syrian MIG- 23 warplane near the Turkish-Syrian border. It said in a statement that it warned two Syrian warplanes four times of border violation before an F-16 fighter jet shot one down.
However, Damascus slammed Turkey for shooting down its warplane "in the Syrian territory," saying it reflected Turkey's involvement in supporting the armed terrorist groups in the war- torn country.
In September last year, a Turkish fighter jet shot down a Syrian military helicopter after it allegedly entered Turkish airspace.
Turkey, once an ally of Syria, has emerged over the past three years as one of the main backers of Syrian opposition fighters who are fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.