US F-16 Crashes in Turkey
A US F-16 fighter jet crashed in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday as it was heading toward northern Iraq to patrol a no-fly zone, the US military said, quoted by the Associated Press.
Al Jazeera satellite channel cited Turkish officials as confirming the incident, saying the plane was on a routine flight in south Turkey.
Sources rules out the possibility that the plane was hit by Iraqi fire.
According to the AP, the US military has flown more than 200,000 sorties over the no-fly zones during ten years of vigilance.
The station said that the pilot ejected from the aircraft, and was rescued.
The plane took off from Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and crashed near the town of Diyarbakir, about halfway between Incirlik and the Iraqi border, said AP.
Incirlik is about 350 miles from the Iraqi border.
Some 50 US warplanes, including F-15 and F-16 fighters, are based in Incirlik. The aircraft patrol a no-fly zone over northern Iraq.
The United States and Britain have been enforcing no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. The ban is not authorized by any UN Security Council resolution.
Iraq, which regards the zones as violations of its territorial sovereignty, has been challenging the patrols since December 1998 – Albawaba.com