CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

Turkey asks for int'l supports following Syria's downing of Turkish jet

06-25-2012 03:56 BJT

ANKARA, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has stepped up efforts to appeal article 4 of the NATO charter after Syria shot down its military aircraft, which triggered regional tense in the past few days.

"Our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told TRT television on Sunday, dismissing Syria's claim that the plane was flying just 1 km off the Syrian coast when it was shot down.

The Syrian state-run SANA news agency said on Friday that the plane was inside Syrian airspace when it was shot down.

"The plane unintentionally violated Syrian airspace, but returned to the Turkish airspace immediately upon the warning of Turkish radars," the minister said.

"Syria have created the impression that they felt like it was an act of aggression and they shot it down... From our perspective, that's not the case," Davutoglu said, stressing the plane was unarmed, not sending hostile signals, flying on a training mission and undertaking a national radar system test.

The minister also dismissed Syria's allegation that it only considered the aircraft as "unidentified" at first and established its Turkish origin later.

Turkey has intercepted radio communications from the Syrian side, which suggested they knew it was a Turkish plane, the Turkish minister said. "We have both radar info and Syria's radio communications," Davutoglu said, adding there was no warning from Syria before it shot down the plane.

Turkish boats were searching for the two-man crew on Syrian waters, but the search-and-rescue mission was not a joint operation with Syria, the minister said, adding that it was being coordinated with Damascus because the plane lost control after the attack and crashed into Syrian waters. The wreckage of the plane was 1,300 meters underwater, he said.

The Turkish minister accused Syria of spreading "disinformation " about the incident.

Davutoglu also said that he made a series of telephone calls with ministers of NATO members and regional countries, including Iran and Russia, to inform them with the incident and ask for support.

Turkey has instructed to make a notification within the framework of Article 4 at the NATO Council meeting in the upcoming week, and will make a notification to the UN Security Council in light of the information gathered, the minister said.

Turkey has issued a diplomatic note to Syria, local media reported. The Turkish foreign minister said Ankara would also formally present the case to the UN Security Council, besides his calling for consultation meetings with other NATO members over the incident this week.

The minister did not explicitly mention possible armed responses cited in article 5 of NATO charter.

"There is an aggression against the Turkish plane which was flying in the international airspace without any hostile intention. No one should try to test the capacity of Turkey," the minister noted.

Turkey was not invoking article 5 of NATO charter, which assumes a military response, but would expect Syria's apologize and compensation, according to analysts.

Ankara has asked to prepare consultations with NATO members and carry out measures for possible ensuing incident, military expert and retired General Armagan Kuloglu told Xinhua on Sunday.

At the moment, Turkey did not aim for a war against Syria, Kuloglu said. Turkish officials expect the countries backing Damascus to pressure Syria to "admit its mistake...so that the tension can be defused."

Despite that Syria claimed it was an accident, Damascus was guilty of violating international engagement rules, since it shot down Turkish plane without any warning, Kuloglu noted.

If Syrian regime says that their local air defense units decided to shot down the Turkish military plane without consulting the mechanisms, apologizes and offers compensation, then the strain between Ankara and Damascus might ease, Kuloglu said. But if Syria declines to yield, Ankara might implement more severe policies, including military measures.

The Turkish military stated on Friday that a scout plane took off from Malatya Erhac Center and lost radar communication over the sea near Hatay province, which borders Syria. Damascus said it shot down an unidentified aircraft that entered its airspace at a very low altitude and high speed.

The incident heightened tensions between two countries that had been allies before Syria's 15-month unrest.

With the second biggest army in NATO, Turkey has been one of the Syrian regime's most ardent critics over its crackdown on protestors. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, previously close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has repeatedly called in recent months for the Syrian leader to step down.

More than 30,000 Syrian refugees have entered Turkey, which also gives shelter to the rebel Free Syria Army (FSA) and Syrian National Council based in Istanbul.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program