Turkey to Consult NATO Allies After Syria Downs Fighter Jet

U.K. condemns Syria for downing a Turkish fighter jet over international waters.

Reuters
Reuters
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Reuters
Reuters

Turkey said on Sunday Syria shot down its military aircraft in international waters, without warning and declared it would formally consult with NATO allies on a reaction.

Turkey issued a diplomatic note to Syria, state broadcaster TRT said without giving any further details.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told TRT the plane had been clearly marked as Turkish and said he did not agree with Syria's earlier statement it had not known the plane belonged to Turkey.

Envoys from NATO member states will meet on Tuesday after Turkey requested consultations over the downing of its military jet by Syria, a NATO spokeswoman said on Sunday.

"Turkey has requested consultations under article 4 of NATO's founding Washington Treaty. Under article 4, any ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened," Oana Lungescu said.

"The NAC (North Atlantic Council) will meet on Tuesday at Turkey's request. We expect Turkey to make a presentation on the recent incident."

A NATO diplomat said Turkey was likely to give NATO allies details. "It is up to Turkey and the allies to decide how they want to proceed," the diplomat said.

"What Turkey may need is political support. We haven't had any other request... It doesn't necessarily lead to the next step.

"It's important that allies show solidarity and concern."

Search teams have located the wreckage of a Turkish fighter jet in Syrian waters at a depth of 1,300 meters, Turkish news channels reported on Sunday, without citing a source.

Turkey's foreign minister earlier said search and rescue teams were still searching for the two missing pilots. He said the search operations were in coordination with the Syrians but could not be described as a "joint" operation.

British foreign minister William Hague condemned the shooting down of the jet as "outrageous" and said Britain was ready to support robust action against Syria by the United Nations Security Council.

Hague said he had spoken with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about the incident.

A Turkish Air Force F-4 war plane fires during a military exercise in Izmir, in this May 26, 2010.Credit: Reuters

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