Turkey says downed jet was not in a spying mission over Syria

Turkey says downed jet was not in a spying mission over Syria

İstanbul : Turkey | Jun 24, 2012 at 3:36 AM PDT
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Syria Closes Border Gates With Turkey

Speaking in a TV interview on TRT Haber state news channel on Sunday, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the F-4 Phantom plane shot down on Friday was on a training mission to test Turkey's own radar and defense systems.

"It was not involved in any operation against Syria. It was not carrying any weapons," he said.

Furthermore, Turkey's state television TRT reported that Ahmet Davutoglu held an urgent meeting with commanders from Turkey's military and the head of the intelligence service to discuss what steps the NATO member would take after Syria shot down one of its military aircraft as Syria insisted the shooting down of the plane was "not an attack" and that the plane had violated its airspace.

According to Turkey's military investigation report, the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, about 13km off the Syrian city of Latakia.

On Saturday night , Reuters news reported that the Turkish government has raised this issue with Washington, London, Paris, Moscow and Tehran. The Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu had a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and with Catherine Ashton.

No further details were given by any media regarding the results of these communcations.

But on Sunday Reuters news reported that a NATO spokeswoman said: Envoys from NATO member states will meet on Tuesday after Turkey requested consultations over the downing of its military jet by Syria.

However, a joint naval Turkish-Syrian operation was underway to try and find the two Turkish pilots killed Friday by Syrian forces. The pilots were said to be alive on Friday by the Turkish prime minister.

On Friday night, Syria confirmed shooting down the aircraft, claiming that the aircraft had violated its airspace. According to Damascus, Syrian forces have realized after shooting the hunter that it was an aircraft of the Turkish army. The official news agency SANA had reported that the Syrian army had spotted an "unidentified aerial target," flying at low altitude and high speed. "The Syrian air defenses had reacted with the anti-aircraft artillery, directly affecting" the target, according to SANA. "The target turned out to be a Turkish military aircraft that had entered Syrian airspace and was treated in accordance with the rules observed in such cases."

Turkey had downplayed the matter, saying the plane unintentionally violated Syria's airspace, which means that, Turkey is trying to resolve the incident through diplomatic means.

In my opinion, this was a golden chance for Turkey to solve the Syrian crisis, as the Syrian army is exhausted from the internal revolution, therefore if there has been a quick reponse, in this case it would help in showing the weakness of the Syrian regime. Unfortunately, as the cartoon image stated at Al-arabiya website that the prime minister is only talkative and nothing more..

Source: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/24/222384.html

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Turkey says downed jet was not a spying mission
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often been ridiculed for making loud, and empty, threats against the Syrian regime. (Image courtesy Khaled Jalal) Source: http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/06/24/222384.html
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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