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.
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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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by: Dj
June 26, 2012 12:47 PM
I would not be surprised if the plane really WAS in Syrian airspace. One thing I have learned is don't always trust everything that's reported in the media.
In Response

by: Hans from: Germany
June 26, 2012 1:31 PM
especially if the information is being issued from Turkey... treacherous liars... and that ugly meatloaf - Recep Tayyip Erdogan what ugly idiot... i just know that Assad will blow this guy a s s wide open and hope he will do it soon

by: Appollo from: Greece
June 26, 2012 12:19 PM
Turkey must be expelled from NATO - remember their treachery towards the Coalition against Sadam...? anyone who relays on the Turk deserves what he gets - a stab in the back
In Response

by: Paul from: Australia
June 27, 2012 6:04 AM
Are you seriously that stupid?? what sort of inane comment you just made. Turkey allowed Coalition forces to launch assaluts of Iraq from turkish soil, where was Greece?? Thats right nowhere to be seen.. NATO needs Turkey...FACT!! Get used to it.

by: Fritz from: Bonn, Germany
June 26, 2012 7:35 AM
the shooting down of the plane was "unacceptable" and we "stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity"...
In Response

by: bluesquid from: canada
June 27, 2012 3:55 PM
I believe the jet was unmanned and a sacrifice of tin in order to give NATO ammunition, Mr Tayyip Erdoğan is a weird dude and a wannabe with it’s own agenda.
In Response

by: DarkMatter from: USA
June 27, 2012 12:06 PM
Yuri, You are blind to facts. Both China and Russia have been condemned by the international community. Stalin killed 20 million and Moa killed40 million. these are facts. Russia and China are evil countries.
In Response

by: AfriSynergy from: USA
June 26, 2012 12:48 PM
The jet was likely a drone (notice Turkey has provided no information on the two pilots). If a drone, the Western technicians retrofitted it to fly without a pilot. Syria indicated no SAMS were used and that the plane was brought down with anti-aircraft fire. This would mean the plane was well within Syrian territory making it possible to be hit be anti-aircraft ammunition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSBUcnOMcfA
In Response

by: Yuri from: Russia
June 26, 2012 11:08 AM
You are distorting. Germany had been condemned for world's wars twice in 20 century. Turkey drank south-european's and arabian's blood during 400 years. German killed 6000000 jews. Turkish killed 1000000 armenians. These are facts. Hence Russia and China are dagerous countries? You lost all you wars, that is why you are so blind and crave for revenge.
In Response

by: Hanss from: Berlin, Germany
June 26, 2012 10:12 AM
I wouldn't like to dampen your enthusiasm, Turk, but look and the parenthetic remarks... it usually denote something to the contrary from its apparent meaning... I suspect VoA cut off Fritz's more poignant remarks... good luck with Syria by the way... don't come to us crying...
In Response

by: Kerem from: Siirt,Turkey
June 26, 2012 9:10 AM
thank you Fritz for standing with us.In fact,it is not a issue between Turkey and Syria.It is an energy war ,the oil and gas reserves at the east -mediterrenaen sea between 2 opposite groups.one side is Nato-Turkey-Eu.And the other group consists of Russia,Iran,China. We have to be powerful and united against these dangerous countries.
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