News / Europe

NATO Condemns Syria for Downing Turkish Jet

NATO Condemns Syria for Downing Turkish Warplanei
|| 0:00:00
X
Meredith Buel
June 26, 2012 11:40 PM
NATO has condemned Syria for the recent downing of a Turkish military jet , and Turkey is threatening to to strike back if it detects what it considers any new Syrian aggression. Meanwhile, inside Syria, there's no end to the fighting between government and rebel forces . VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has more from Washington.

Related video report by Meredith Buel

TEXT SIZE - +
Selah HennessyDorian Jones
NATO member states have condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkish military jet last Friday.

"We consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms," said NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

He spoke Tuesday at a news conference in Brussels after a meeting of the ambassadors from NATO’s 28 member states. Rasmussen said NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey.

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

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.

The plane crashed into the eastern Mediterranean and its two pilots are still missing.

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.

Hopes for restraint

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

"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 " he said.

Rees said NATO also 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."

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. 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?"

Warning from Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a stinging attack on Syria's rulers Tuesday, warning them of the "wrath of Turkey." Speaking in parliament, he declared Syria to be "a clear and present danger."  The prime minister also announced new rules of engagement for the Turkish army.

"Any military element from Syria moving too close to the Turkish border that is deemed a security risk will be seen as a threat and will be a military target," Erdogan said. "I am warning Syria it shouldn't make any mistake and test Turkey."

Analysts warn of the potential for confrontation as Syrian forces increasingly move closer to the Turkish border to curtail the smuggling of arms to the Free Syrian Army rebels.

Until now, the Turkish army has been under strict rules to avoid confrontation with Syrian forces.

During his address, the prime minister emphasized he is not looking for war.

"Turkey knows what it will do very well. We won't fall into the trap of war provocateurs," Erdogan said. "But we are not a country to sit by after the downing of our plane. We will keep our determination."

The Turkish leader said Turkey will give full support until the Syrian people "are relieved of this dictator," referring to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

Danger for monitors

The U.N. Security Council received a closed briefing Tuesday from U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous. Diplomats say he told the council that the situation in Syria is too dangerous for U.N. monitors to resume their work there.

They say he added that the Syrian government also refuses to allow observers to use satellite telephones, which he called "key tools" to the operation.

The head of the U.N. observer mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, suspended operations on June 16 due to safety risks to the 300 observers. The U.N. has said attackers have targeted the observer team several times in recent weeks with gunfire and bombs.

Violence near Damascus

Rights activists reported heavy fighting in Syria between rebels and government forces in several areas Tuesday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army used artillery during clashes with rebels in Damascus suburbs that house families of army officers.

The Observatory also reported violence in the cities of Daraa, Homs, Aleppo, and Deir Ezzor, as well as in Hama and Idlib provinces.

The head of the Observatory, Rami Abdelrahman, said the Tuesday clashes and shelling killed 38 people, including 21 government troops, two defectors and 15 civilians and rebels.

Hennessy reported from London. Jones reported from Istanbul. Carla Babb in Washington contributed to this report.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Mervin
June 28, 2012 6:16 AM
What did turkey do when isreal attacked and killed her citizens on the ship to Gaza strip?.turkey wil be soon the sick man of nowhere again.


by: Sam from: Accra
June 27, 2012 12:42 PM
Turkey decides to keep mute for two days after the incident until they are schooled on what to say before speaking andinvoking an article of the NATO constitution.
May i ask whether the NATO constitution allows it's members to fly their jets blatantly over the airspace of other countries for so-called training missions?
Keep shooting them down Syria, this is no Cyprus, Greece or Iraq.


by: Burak from: Turkey
June 27, 2012 4:51 AM
Turkey's jet was shot in international air zone.It accidentally had gone in Syrian air zone for ten minutes. Because of this, In this situation Turkey is right


by: Alaa
June 26, 2012 11:31 PM
Syrians need all the help they can get to topple the brutal dictator Bashar.


by: Frank B from: America
June 26, 2012 3:29 PM
Will NATO actually do anything? Or just kinda stare and their feet & mumble?


by: carolyn from: santa barbara, ca
June 26, 2012 3:26 PM
condemned I meant! not downed!


by: RB Bazzell from: Tennessee
June 26, 2012 3:25 PM
The NATO condemnation is meanignless when people die each day. UN Resolutions, NATO Condemnations - all serve no real purpose and mean notihng to the victims of social violence. Unlike Lybia and Egypt, these atrocities in Syria apparently don't incite the same political will with NATO as previuos actions demonstrated.


by: carolyn from: santa barbara, ca
June 26, 2012 3:24 PM
Ooooh I've been downed! Ouch! That hurts!! REALLY NATO!! So harsh!


by: Joe from: North Bay
June 26, 2012 3:14 PM
How do we know that airplane was in international waters? Turkey in the past has been a blatant disrespectful violator of airspace of every single one of their neighbours. Turkey most definetely has it's own hidden agenda for Syria. Looks good on Turkey, they are the regional bully.. when you play with the bull you get the horns. Not that I am saying Syria is totally innocent on any account. The facts need to be determined here, Turkey says the plane was unarmed, and Syria says it was defending itself. Both puppet regimes have a history of lying, and of torturing people. Who do you believe?


by: Jer from: Nebraska
June 26, 2012 3:03 PM
Funny when the UN condemns a country for an attack or action. Like that has any efect. They don't do anything but say, "We condemn the attack!" SO! The country who is condemned is laughing at it.

In Response

by: george pavlakis from: Las vegas nv USA
June 26, 2012 3:42 PM
What the NATO said?? They take the side of Turkey a country that violate the air spaces every day in Greece and Cyprus.
A country that imvaded the Island of Cyprus A country that donot OBEY any UN resoloutions on Human rights in Turkey or north Cyprus .
The Syryans are at war and the Spy plane from Turkey violate the Syrian air space.
The Syrians whas justified to shoot down the plane in the first place..The spy plane was there with USA orders

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid