UK & World News
Turkey Finds Downed Jet As US Condemns Syria
The wreckage of a Turkish jet shot down by Syria has been located in Syrian waters, as the United States strongly condemned the "brazen and unacceptable act".
Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the search for two missing pilots was still under way, in coordination with the Syrian authorities.
He denied it was a "joint" operation.
After talking to Mr Davutoglu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement: "We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable.
"It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security."
The jet was shot down over the Mediterranean on Friday, about eight miles from the Syrian coast.
Nato has agreed to a request from Turkey for an emergency meeting of member states on Tuesday to discuss its response to the incident.
Turkey's foreign minister has claimed the plane was hit without warning in international airspace.
Mr Davutoglu said the F4 Phantom jet momentarily strayed into Syrian airspace - but was not on a spying mission.
He said the plane was unarmed and had no "covert mission related to Syria," and was on a training flight to test Turkey's radar capabilities.
Syria has said its action was "not an attack", but took down the plane because it violated its airspace.
While Mr Davutoglu admitted the plane had entered Syrian airspace by mistake, he asserted it was shot down in "international airspace" several minutes after it left, and without warning.
Mr Davutoglu told state TV: "According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria.
"The plane did not show any sign of hostility toward Syria and was shot down about 15 minutes after having momentarily violated Syrian airspace."
The minister said there was no warning from Syria before it shot down the plane, adding: "The Syrians knew full well that it was a Turkish military plane and the nature of its mission."
Tensions have been growing between the neighbouring countries since the incident on Friday, with the international community urging both nations to exercise restraint.
Mr Davutoglu said he would present the incident formally to the Nato military alliance under article four of its founding treaty.
The article provides for 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".
It stops short of the explicit mention of possible armed responses cited in article five.
Turkey has taken in more than 30,000 refugees who have fled the violence in Syria and the year-long uprising against President Bashar al Assad.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Syria's shooting down of the plane as "an outrageous act".
???"This deplorable incident underlines the urgent need to find a solution to the current crisis in Syria in order to bring an end to the violence and to achieve a genuine political transition," he said.
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what do you think?
Sorry 'accidentally' flying into a neighbouring countries airspace is virtually impossible, what with all the onboard radar and navigation systems modern jets have these days, let alone the Turkish ATC monitoring their flights too! Getting anywhere close to neighbouring airspace without orders would have had the ATC and the squadrons command screaming in their ears!
Yeah, but the Phantom F4 first went into service 30 odd years ago so it's hardly a "modern jet". I doubt it has had any substantial upgrades since. Besides, if an aircraft strays into restricted airspace, the pilot is supposed to receive warnings from those who monitor that particular airspace.....and in this case, Syria, according to the report didn't give any.....
Mathew is right usually the central air command of the country would issue a warning message about the entrance to the air space and ask the pilot to state their purpose for intrusion. If the plane alters course out of the area then thats that. If the plane issues a mayday call then escort planes a scrambled to escort the plane to a nearby airbase/airport. If the plane doesn't respond and stays on course, the fighters are scrambled again to make visual contact incase of faulty comms gear. The escorts will either shepherd the plane away or force it to land. Any hostile activity by the intruder would delt with. At least that's how things are done when your not at war with anyone.
The F4 went into service 54 years ago.
Ahhh, cheers for the correction, I said 30 odd though..wasn't far off...haha...:o)
Lol!! Sorry to sound pedantic!!
lol...No need to say sorry, I thankyou.....I have always had an interest in Airforce "hardware"...mainly because of my families' history serving in the RAF.....I decided to look up the history of the F4, found a fancinating site by an ex-pilot depicting his carreer in 29 Squadron fying said Phantoms....:o)
Syria says it "was not an attack", but took down the plane because it violated its airspace?....erm, is that not the same thing?...Must remember that line if I get into trouble after one too many...."It wasn't assault Officer, I merely punched the guy for spilling my pint"....Seems Syria have gone one step too far and are now trying to dig themselves out of a very large hole. I hope NATO can diffuse the situation without it escalating into something more serious.
i am shure virtualy every one in the middle east tell lies and wouldnt know the truth if it kicked them up the backside , leave them alone to sort it out for themselves .
Doesn't help that turkey is a NATO member
Its strange how Turkey is now kicking off to NATO about another country attacking one of its planes. When Turkey are and still have a go at the Kurds and reading up on this find that 35000 have died since 1999. Different standards?
Windows Live User
America in the middle - Why? Leave it to Turkey/Nato to sort out
While the F-4 Phantom is an old design, those in the Turkish Air Force have been upgraded by Israeli Aircraft Industries, of all people! Flying into neighbouring air space is a recognised problem, which is why Switzerland carries out pilot recurrent training in Sweden, while Singapore does so in Australia. The aircraft would have had not 2 pilots but a pilot and navigator. Flying into neighbouring airspace is normally handled by sending fighters to escort the offending aircraft away.