Syria says Turkey shoots down Syrian warplane

Associated Press
People walk around the Crac des Chevaliers as Syrian troops take reporters on a tour a day after they ousted rebels from the castle located near the village of Hosn, Syria, Friday, March 21, 2014. The Syrian army ousted rebels from the massive Crusader fortress after several hours of fierce fighting, killing at least 93 of them as they fled to neighboring Lebanon, an army commander told reporters on a government-led tour of the area Friday. (AP Photo)
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People walk around the Crac des Chevaliers as Syrian troops take reporters on a tour a day after they ousted rebels from the castle located near the village of Hosn, Syria, Friday, March 21, 2014. The Syrian army ousted rebels from the massive Crusader fortress after several hours of fierce fighting, killing at least 93 of them as they fled to neighboring Lebanon, an army commander told reporters on a government-led tour of the area Friday. (AP Photo)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian military spokesman says Turkey's armed forces have shot down a Syrian warplane near the countries' border, and called the act a "blatant aggression."

The unnamed spokesman was quoted by Syrian state TV as saying the plane was downed Sunday in Syrian airspace as it was attacking rebels who have been on the offensive in the coastal province of Latakia. The spokesman said the pilot ejected from the aircraft.

Turkey is among the main backers of Syrian opposition fighters trying to remove President Bashar Assad from power.

The downing of the plane came as Syrian government troops were trying try regain a border crossing point with Turkey near the town of Kassab that rebels captured Friday.

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