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FACTDROP: As Turkey Looks To NATO, Syria Defends Shooting War Plane


As Turkey Looks To NATO, Syria Defends Shooting War Plane

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, arrives for a cabinet meeting in his office in Ankara, Turkey on Monday.

Πηγή: npr
June 25 2012

A spokesman for Syria's foreign ministry said his country "holds no hostility towards the Turkish people."

According Syria's state news agency, SANA, Jihad Makdessi said Syria shot at a Turkish war plane because it veered into Syrian airspace.

"The Syrian response was an act of defense of our sovereignty carried out by anti-aircraft machinegun which has a maximum range of 2.5 km," Makdessi said today.

Syria is trying to diffuse the standoff with Turkey, which has called a special meeting with its NATO allies to talk about the incident. As The Washington Post's Liz Sly reports, Turkey's NATO summons is a "move that potentially opens the door to international military intervention in the Syrian crisis for the first time."

The Post adds:

"'It was a hostile act,' Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said in a telephone interview. 'They shot down a plane over international waters, and this is unacceptable.' Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Syria stating that under international law, Turkey 'reserves the right to respond,' he added.

"In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the downing 'a brazen and unacceptable act' and said the United States was consulting with its allies and partners regarding 'next steps' to be taken against Syria, at a time when a U.N. effort to address the spiraling bloodshed inside Syria through diplomacy is faltering."

Turkey is set to make a presentation to NATO on Tuesday.

In other news, Reuters is reporting that a Syrian general and 38 soldiers defected to Turkey overnight.

Editor's note

For an other point of view see CONFIRMED: US CIA Arming Terrorists in Syria 

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