Turkey has developed a new identification system for its U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, which will now allow them to fire at Israeli targets, the Iranian state-run news agency Press TV quoted a Turkish newspaper as reporting on Tuesday.
According to the report, the new technology will allow Turkey to identify its enemies itself, as opposed to the old U.S. system which automatically identified all Israeli targets as a "friend," preventing Turkish fighter jets from firing at them, even if Turkish pilots were ordered to do so.
The new Identification Friend or Foe will be put into place on all Turkish fighter jets and military vessels.
The move comes at the height of the Israeli-Turkish diplomatic crisis, after Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador in a feud over an Israeli raid last year that killed nine Turks on a flotilla bound for the Palestinian enclave of Gaza. Israel has said it would not apologize, which Turkey has demanded.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan has demanded Israel apologize, and recently embarked on a visit to Egypt in an attempt to reestablish diplomatic and military ties with Cairo.
In part of the interview published by Al-Shorouk, an Egyptian daily, on Monday, Erdogan said Israel had "not fully grasped the reality of changes that happened in the Arab world."
Last week, Erdogan warned that the Turkish navy will strengthen its presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and that Turkish warships will accompany any aid vessels wishing to transfer aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
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