NATO to hold emergency meeting over downed Turkish plane


Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) leaves a meeting focused on Syria with army generals and other officials on Syria, in Ankara, on June 23, 2012.



NATO will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday at Turkey's request, after claiming Sunday that the warplane shot down by Syria was in international airspace, The Guardian reported

Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, said Ankara would put the incident before its NATO allies so that they could prepare an appropriate response under Article 4 of the organization's founding treaty, which allows states to "consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened," The Guardian reported. 

According to BBC News' Turkish correspondent Jonathan Head, Turkey wants to be sure it has strong international backing once it decides its official response to the incident. 

More from GlobalPost: Syria: Downed jet was in international airspace, Turkey says

The Turkish Foreign Ministry is considering Syria's action to be a hostile act, it said Sunday, CNN reported. Syria gave no warning before shooting down the F-4.

"According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria," Davutoglu said in a television interview, Agence France Presse reported. "The plane did not show any sign of hostility toward Syria and was shot down about 15 minutes after having momentarily violated Syrian airspace." 

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Davutoglu about Friday's incident, saying that the United States would stand behind Turkey. 

"The United States condemns this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life and peace and security," Clinton said, according to CNN. 

"We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable," Clinton continued, CNN reported. "Turkey has been a leader in the international community's effort to address the Syrian regime's violence against its own people."

More from GlobalPost: Russia’s 'rational' and 'moral' stance on Syria

The US-made fighter jet was hit by an anti-aircraft missile fired by Syrian forces on Friday, the Associated Press reported, and investigations into the downing of the plane suggest it was not a mistake.

Search and rescue teams have located the plane's wreckage, but have still not found the plane's two-man crew, who have been missing since the crash, the AP reported. 

The NATO meeting about the incident "potentially opens the door to international military intervention in the Syria crisis for the first time," according to the AP. 




In Politics.

Tagged: SyriaTurkey.