JERUSALEM (JTA) — A new identification system will allow Turkish fighter jets to fire on Israeli targets.
The Identification Friend or Foe system is set to be put on all Turkish fighter jets, which are U.S.-made F-16s, the Turkish media reported Tuesday.
The Turkish-made Friend or Foe replaces a U.S. system that automatically identified all Israeli targets as friend and prevented Turkish pilots from firing, according to reports. It will be mounted on Turkish fighter jets and naval vessels in the near future, according to reports.
The announcement comes amid increased tension between Israel and Turkey, including a declaration by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan that the country will strengthen its presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and that Turkish warships will accompany aid vessels bringing cargo to the Gaza Strip.
On Monday, Erdogan said in an interview with Al Jazeera that a raid by Israel naval commandos on an aid flotilla to Gaza in which nine Turkish nationals were killed was "cause for war."
“It is a cause for war, but we decided to act in line with Turkey’s grandeur and showed patience,” Erdogan said before leaving for a visit to Egypt.