Day 1,102: Turkey shoots down Syria plane while clashes erupt in Beirut


Lebanese army soldiers patrol a street near the capital's Tariq Jedideh district, following clashes between pro- and anti-Damascus factions on March 23, 2014.


Anwar Amro

Today is Day 1,102 of the Syria conflict.

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who's got his own problems at present — announced Sunday that Turkish fighter jets shot down a Syrian warplane earlier today after it violated Turkish airspace.

A Syrian military spokesman, unsurprisingly, called this an act of "blatant aggression," saying that the plane had been attacking rebels from Syrian, not Turkish, airspace. He also said the pilot ejected safely.

You may recall that just yesterday Jordan's King Abdullah II told Lebanese fighters to get out of Syria and stop risking Lebanon's own stability. The warning hardly required a crystal ball, given that troops are now required in Lebanon just to keep towns from sealing each other off with sand barriers and burning tires, but it's looking particularly prescient given what happened this morning: Gun battles between pro- and anti-Assad factions erupted in Beirut before dawn on Sunday in the Al-Gharbi neighborhood, killing one and wounding 13.

The conflict continues.