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NATO To Meet In Wake Of Syrian Downing Of Turkish Jet

A TV grab shows a Syrian military spokesman explaining the incident involving the Turkish fighter jet.
A TV grab shows a Syrian military spokesman explaining the incident involving the Turkish fighter jet.
By RFE/RL
Turkey has called for an extraordinary meeting of the NATO military alliance to discuss what it calls Syria's "aggressive" downing of a Turkish fighter jet over the Mediterranean.

Speaking on his country's TRT state television, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Phantom fighter jet was on a routine training mission when it inadvertently strayed into Syrian airspace on June 22.

Davutoglu said the plane carried no weaponry and that its mission was not related to continued unrest in Syria.

"The plane was unarmed," he said. "A jet which is sent on a risky mission wouldn't fly unarmed. Jets fly unarmed only on training and testing missions. All sides are aware of that. Not necessarily because they are advised but because such flights are conducted with open identity. Our plane's identity could be seen by all. It was not hiding [its] identity. Our jet's identity could have been observed by everyone in line with rules of flight."

The Turkish foreign minister said the plane was shot down 15 minutes after voluntarily reentering international airspace.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Istanbul earlier this month.Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Istanbul earlier this month.
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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Istanbul earlier this month.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Istanbul earlier this month.
Turkish media reports that rescue crews have located the wreckage of the plane in Syrian waters at a depth of more than 1,000 meters. No trace of the Phantom's two pilots has been found.

NATO officials are due to meet on June 26 to discuss the downing, which comes as the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad is facing mounting criticism for more than a year of bloodshed in the country.

Davutoglu said he also planned to discuss the case before the UN Security Council, where Western powers are seeking to push through a motion that would allow stronger measures against Assad.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Syria for what she called its "brazen and unacceptable" behavior. Clinton said in a written statement it was "yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security."

Clinton said she spoke with Davutoglu on June 23 to convey the United States' "grave concern" over the incident.

Syria insists the shooting was not an attack and that the Turkish plane had violated its airspace. But Davutoglu said the jet was already far outside Syrian airspace at the time of the shooting.

"Our plane was shot at a distance of 13 sea miles from Syria's border in international airspace. The Syrian administration is trying to relate these two incidents (violation of its airspace and downing of the jet). However, it cannot be done," he said. "The violation of its airspace wasn't intentional. It wasn't done on purpose."

Both the United Nations and Iran -- Syria's strongest regional ally -- have called for restraint on both sides.

But British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Syria for what he called its "outrageous act," saying in a statement that the Assad regime "will be held to account for its behavior."

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters
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by: Arab the Great from: Oil and women heaven
June 24, 2012 07:32
İsrael and South Cyprus Greeks were making war practice, and Turks' rattletrap jet was looking on them, to get intelligence. But İsrael officers gave orders to dogfight with Turiksh jet. İsrael's fighter jet was try to chase Turkish jet. Turks ran away, but their jet was old machine, and its electronic system was made from İsrael 5 years ago !

İsrael's jet was push the Turkish jet in Syria's airspace, and return before the antiaircraft guns start to shooting. But Turks could not. Syrians talking about 2 jets, one of them is Turkish F4, which was down. One of them is İsrael fighter jet.

İts the story, may be which will start the WWIII.
In Response

by: Sey from: World
June 24, 2012 09:38
You go Turkey and get into fighting with Israel, see if you finally can get the butt-kicking you deserved after WWI and you've been asking for ever since.
In Response

by: Arabs love Prophet Christ from: İslamichristland
June 24, 2012 14:34
İsrael is the son of big devil, İsrael is the Anti-Christ.

İsrael wants East Anatolia, for the "Sion Kingdom". And since more than 2000 years, they are cause wars between nations. İsrael preparing its own end, with its own bloody hands. Muslims and Christians are waiting prophet Christ to get peace on world. Jews are waiting Dajjal the Anti-Christ. And they want a great battle the Armageddon, they force the Turks to attack Syria. They need this war at 2012.

War is coming on you, you can sit or go on... Holy books told about this events.
In Response

by: GenPatton43 from: Philadelphia
June 25, 2012 13:47
Dude, please. Enough with the conspiracy theories already. You could make an a conspiracy theory out of someone taking a dump

by: GenPatton43 from: Pennsylvania
June 25, 2012 13:42
There's no doubt that the Syrian's are a thuggish regime that needs to end, however, the reason why the Turkish Jet was unarmed was because it was an RF-4 Phantom. A recon aircraft.
Had it been an F-4 fighter, than there should have been a 2nd one with it. NATO fighters do not work on their own, they worked in pairs.
The RF-4 was probably gathering SIGINT.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 25, 2012 17:22
I am sorry, General, could you please enlighten us as to what is SIGINT and how to gather it?
In Response

by: Arab the hero from: Jordan-Mahdis rising flag
June 25, 2012 18:29
corporal Genpatton43 is talking about signal intelligence technology :)

İf Turks do not attack on Syria in June, Syria will attack directly on Turks in July. Because İsrael wants this. İsrael will hide back of Syrian army, and try to kill Turkish best pilots, officers and generals. Sion plan is this.

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