Turkey will retaliate for the shooting down of an armed Turkish drone by the United States in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 9 said in a news conference following a cabinet meeting.
"There is no doubt that the incident has been engraved in our national memory and necessary action will certainly be taken when the time comes," he said.
The United States on Oct. 5 shot down an armed Turkish drone operating in proximity to its troops in Syria, marking the first such incident involving its NATO ally Turkey, according to the Pentagon's statement. Prior to the statement, Turkish sources had declined that the drone belonged to Turkey.
Erdoğan's far-right ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli stated that he condemned the downing of the drone during his weekly speech in the parliament and added, "According to claims of the U.S., our drone was shot down in 'self-defense.' What is the U.S. doing in northern Syria? If what the U.S. is doing is self-defense, why not what Turkey is doing? There is no need for pretense. The US has officially opened fire on our drone."
U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish forces have been targeted by the Turkish military in an escalation prompted by the bomb attack in Ankara by Kurdish militants.
U.S. support for Kurdish forces in northern Syria has long caused tension with Turkey, which views them as a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). That group claimed responsibility for Sunday's attack in Ankara near government buildings.
Turkey said the two attackers had come from Syria. The bombing killed both attackers and wounded two police officers. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led force backed by the U.S., denied that the bombers had passed through its territory.