Nato calls talks over downed Turkey plane
Posted Sunday, June 24 2012 at 19:35
Nato will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the downing of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces, a spokeswoman for the Atlantic Alliance said Tuesday.
“Turkey has requested consultations under Article 4” of Nato’s founding treaty under which member countries can request a meeting if their security is threatened, Nato spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said, adding that the meeting would take place on Tuesday.
The moves came after Ankara accused its onetime ally of shooting down a Turkish F-4 phantom jet on Friday when it was clearly in international airspace after briefly straying into Syrian territory.
“According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told TRT television.
“The plane did not show any sign of hostility toward Syria and was shot down about 15 minutes after having momentarily violated Syrian airspace,” he said.
The minister said that there was no warning from Syria before it shot down the plane, which was on an unarmed training mission to carry out a radar system test.
“The Syrians knew full well that it was a Turkish military plane and the nature of its mission,” he said, adding that the plane was flying by itself and was not “on any mission, including information gathering, above Syria.”
“Nobody should dare put Turkey’s (military) capabilities to the test,” Davutoglu warned. “No-one can threaten Turkey’s security.”
“Turkey will act with restraint but determination,” he said. “We will bring this affair before public opinion and international law in the name of Turkey’s honour.”
Syria has said it took out the F-4 phantom jet on Friday after it violated its airspace and on Saturday Turkey acknowledged that the plane may have done so in comments seen as a bid to cool tensions between the former allies.