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Turkey scrambles fighters to intercept Syrian, Russian warplanes

ANKARA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has scrambled F-16 fighter jets to intercept the Russian and Syrian warplanes that were flying close to the country's air space, a Turkish military statement said on Sunday.

Two F-16 fighter jets were sent to intercept a Syrian SU-24 warplane, which was spotted approaching the Yayladagi town of southern province of Hatay near the border, said the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, adding that the Syrian aircraft retreated 3.8 miles.

The armed forces also said that Turkey scrambled another four F- 16 jets after a Russian IL-20 warplane came close to Turkish air space from the Georgian side and flew parallel of the Black Sea coast. The Russian aircraft largely flew 15 miles away from the Turkish air space.

Similar incidents have taken place since Turkish jets shot down a Syrian helicopter in September near Hatay as the Syrian chopper reportedly violated the Turkish airspace, according to local media.

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