Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to the crowd following a funeral service for a victim of the thwarted coup in Istanbul, Turkey, July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
Reuters: At height of Turkish coup bid, rebel jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights
At the height of the attempt to overthrow Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, the rebel pilots of two F-16 fighter jets had Erdogan's plane in their sights. And yet he was able to fly on.
The Turkish leader was returning to Istanbul from a holiday near the coastal resort of Marmaris after a faction in the military launched the coup attempt on Friday night, sealing off a bridge across the Bosphorus, trying to capture Istanbul's main airport and sending tanks to parliament in Ankara.
"At least two F-16s harassed Erdogan's plane while it was in the air and en route to Istanbul. They locked their radars on his plane and on two other F-16s protecting him," a former military officer with knowledge of the events told Reuters.
"Why they didn't fire is a mystery," he said.
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WNU Editor: It looks like the pilots (and maybe their commanders) got "cold feet". I guess making Erdogan a martyr was a bridge too far for them.
Hat tip to Rhaegar for this link.