The Turkish army intervened, Sunday, 23 March 2014, to lend support to jihadist groups linked to the Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda) and the Army of Islam (backed by Saudi Arabia) that it had escorted two days ago into Syrian territory, at the Kassar borderpoint.

At a campaign rally, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hailed the victory after accusing Syria of having entered Turkey’s airspace, which Damascus denies. "A Syrian plane violated our airspace. Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard," he said.

Turkey—which since the beginning of the war houses the main jihadist rear bases and facilities, run and coordinated by NATO—no longer makes a secret of its military involvement in Syria.

Greatly weakened by the recent corruption scandals (including its links with an Al-Qaeda banker), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is trying to stabilize the most conservative wing of his electorate by hardening his official positions. He thereby hopes to minimize the losses in the 30 March municipal elections.