News / Europe

NATO Condemns Syria for Downing Turkish Jet

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks to the press on June 26, 2012 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
Selah Hennessy
LONDON - NATO member states have condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkish military jet last Friday.  Speaking Tuesday, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the action "unacceptable."  
Rasmussen spoke at a news conference in Brussels after a meeting of the ambassadors from NATO’s 28 member states.

During the Brussels meeting, Turkey outlined its account of last Friday’s incident.

Turkish officials say the military jet was an unarmed plane on a training mission and was flying above international waters when it was shot down. Damascus says it acted in self-defense after the plane entered Syrian airspace.

Rasmussen said that NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey.

"It is another example of the Syrian authorities disregard for international norms, peace and security and human life," said Rasmussen.

Tuesday’s meeting came under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty.  That article says any country may consult fellow member-states if it considers its territorial integrity, political independence, or security to be under threat.

Rasmussen said NATO had not discussed Article 5 of the group’s founding treaty. Article 5 enables the use of force should a member come under attack.

Wyn Rees, an international security expert at Britain’s University of Nottingham, says NATO is keen to demonstrate its support for Turkey.

"Turkey obviously has been a member of NATO for a very long time," said Rees.  "It's a very important state within the alliance. So the fact that it has now suffered this loss of an aircraft, it's important for the other NATO members to show solidarity."

Rees says NATO also has a second agenda: It hopes to restrain Turkey from escalating the situation.

"The NATO members are not looking for a pretext on which to intervene and therefore they do not want one of their members to drag them into such an action," added Rees.

Rees says he thinks this situation will be dealt with diplomatically. But he says by shooting down Turkey’s plane, Syria has raised new questions about its internal situation.

"For a country to kind of engage in such an act - such a hostile act - seems rather stupid frankly," Rees noted.  "And one wonders just how much control the Assad regime has over parts of the military now. It kind of raises that deeper question, is the military fully under the command of the civilian government?"

The two men on board the jet shot down Friday have not been found.

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Comments page of 2
by: NVO from: USA
June 27, 2012 10:00 PM
NATO is part&parcel of THE NEW WORLD ORDER.

by: frnchy from: France
June 27, 2012 3:54 PM
The fact is Amercan's Agenda of War is now focusing on Syria and Iran. See the Agenda and be happy if you are not in the list
1) Iraq -- Finished (They achieved the target by killing Saddam and for oil)
2) Afghanistan - Almost Finished (They achieved the target by killing Osama Bin Laden)
3) Iran (Coming Soon)
4) Syria (On going Target : Assad)
5) Pakistan (Poor failed state destroyed by the Taliban itself) but Americans are worried for their nukes will come to the Talibans
6) North Korea
7) Yemen
All these states will be treated one by one

by: squiddy from: canada
June 27, 2012 3:47 PM
The fact that the plane was unarmed means nothing as they intrude in an foreign air space the people on the ground can’t see if the UFO is armed or not, Mr Tayyip Erdoğan was the one committing a error in judgement by sending the unmanned plane there in a time of tension. Turkey is supporting the FSA and is hostile towards Syria.

by: Wes from: Oklahoma
June 27, 2012 3:30 PM
The Turks and NATO are lying. This aircraft was shot down by a Russian type ZPU (AAA) that has a maximum range of 1.2 kilometers. Which clearly means that the aircraft couldn't have been over international waters. This is just another lie by western governments to go to war over propaganda.

June 27, 2012 10:45 AM
You can't defend Syria by saying "The Turkish jet WAS in Syrian airspace" and United States would do the same thing. The fact is the jet was unarmed and it was just a reconnaissance jet. The Syrians shot it down without asking what country it was from or if it was in its airspace on accident. Assad is a criminal who bombs his own people without even letting the aid come in and help the victims...he deserves to be kicked out of power
In Response

June 27, 2012 7:19 PM
@David you could be absolutely right. It may be Turkey's fault or it may be Syria's fault, whichever it is the fact remains that Assad needs to be kicked out of power. Whether Assad shot down no jets are millions of jets, he has had a brutal history and we can only hope that democracy will prevail and peace will be restored in Syria
In Response

by: David from: Boise
June 27, 2012 3:02 PM
Who said it was unarmed? Ah, that's right.... The ones who flew straight into the gun fire, eh? C'mon now! Those pilots were not so stupid as to not know what and where they were going. They were pros and suffered the consequences.

by: john johns from: austin texas
June 27, 2012 10:30 AM
In no way is the shooting down an aircraft acceptable behavior unless the aircraft is acting aggressively. Interception and armed escort away is the way to handle this unless retaliation is desired. Syria evidently mistakes diplomacy as weak and therefore unacceptable. To put this in a context : if a man walks on the edge of your lawn he is not shot, shoved or knocked about. He is asked to refrain from doing this act. To shoot and/or kill is an act that should bring strong retribution worldwide irregardless of location. To accept this action from Syria is to condone it, period.
In Response

by: john johns from: austin texas
June 28, 2012 8:26 AM
Joseph and David, I assume neither of you understood my message, either that or you are "venting" your spleen. I stand by and behind my convictions however I do not do the same for my government nor any other government. Over the past 70 so years I have seen each and every single one lie, not stretch the truth but out and out lie.
In Response

by: Joseph Zrnchik from: Highland, IN
June 27, 2012 5:50 PM
Tell that one to the 290 Iranian civilians who were slaughtered by the USS Vincennes as it was in Iranian costal waters and shot down IR Flight 655 over Iranian territory. Then the US said the plane was diving,when it was climbing. It said it was out of its corridor and recording proved it was not. THen the US said it did not have its transponder on. An internation investigation proved the US lied again. THis is the type of hypocrisy the world has to contantly deal with. My government has become a lying psychopath and enemy of our U.S. Constitution. We need a revolition as the elite now NEED war to keep their scam going.
In Response

by: David from: Boise
June 27, 2012 3:00 PM
And if Mexico or Canada were harboring and aiding the very elements responsible for killing civilians, etc. You'd have no problem with a Mexican fighter jet cruising over your ports and taking pictures, eh? Never mind all the bellicose statements coming from the rest of the world. And the Syrians apologized for the act while Americans, after shooting down an Iranian airliner no less and killing 290 people, would argue till the end of time that their "mistake" was legitimate. Sauce for the goose my friend. And a good indication that the Syrians will not be the push overs that NATO wishes they were.

by: bob from: kiris
June 27, 2012 10:29 AM
This is how big EIRONIA in Greek is from the NATO.
see under KYPROS see under HELLAS see under ARMENIA
see under KOURDIS and more.

by: Ludlum from: former USA
June 27, 2012 10:18 AM
Kerem is correct. This is cold war for Iran's OIL, now that the Zionists have stolen Iraq's oil. I don't care for Ass-ad but I say Syria did exactly what any other self-respecting country including the Consortium of American States would do, if for example an Iranian military jet entered its air space without permission.
In Response

by: DarkMatter from: USA
June 27, 2012 12:29 PM
There is a big difference between a Turkish jet entering Syrain airspace (disputed) and an Iranian jet entering American airspace. First off, Turkey an Syria share a border while America and Iran are thousands of miles apart. Secondly, a Turkish plane could fly to Syria in minutes and a single tank of fuel. An Iranian plane would take hours and multiple stops.

by: Jay from: LR
June 26, 2012 1:34 PM
In todays world Syria did the right thing. It was Syrian airspace and Turkey did not ask for permission. The USA would have done the same thing NATO would have done the same thing. Media get your *&%# straight.
In Response

by: Mark from: Florida
June 27, 2012 10:10 AM
It is disputed that the Turkish jet was in Syrian airspace. Turkey says it was over international waters. Syria says it was over a section of airspace that they claim is theirs, but the world doesn't recognize it as Syrian airspace.

by: C.Lau from: San Diego, Ca
June 26, 2012 1:27 PM
i know the cold war is over, but i do agree that all nations of NATO need to stand together. If we dont all get on the same page with this, what is the use of NATO anymore? they will be render impotent, which is what most people think about NATO anyway. I like NATO and what it stands for, and i think its important that it continues on as a strong force to be reckoned with.
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