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Nato condemns Syria downing of Turkey jet

2012-06-26 13:00

Brussels - Nato condemned Syria's downing of a Turkish jet as "unacceptable" and expressed "strong support and solidarity" with Turkey after emergency consultations on Tuesday.

"We consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms," said Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "Allies have expressed their strong support and solidarity with Turkey... We will remain seized."

Rasmussen spoke after the North Atlantic Council met for consultations on a request from Turkey following the loss of a Phantom 4 fighter jet shot down Friday by Syria. The two-man crew remain missing.

"It is another example of the Syrian authorities' disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life," Rasmussen told a news conference.

"We continue to follow the situation closely and with great concern," he added after talks lasting a little over an hour gathering ambassadors of the 28-nation Atlantic alliance to hear Turkey's representative outline the circumstances of the incident.

"Let me make this clear. The security of the alliance is indivisible. We stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity," Rasmussen said.

Turkey requested consultations with its allies under Article 4 of Nato's founding treaty, enabling any one of them to call for talks should they consider their territorial integrity, political independence or security under threat.

It is only the second time since the Nato was set up in 1949 that consultations have been requested under that article, the last time in 2003 also being on a request from Turkey during the Iraqi war.

Comments
  • Mike - 2012-06-26 14:32

    "It is another example of the Syrian authorities' disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life," - As much as I think the Syrian lot are complete looneys, an unauthorised foreign military jet travelling fast and low is considered a valid target in any country in the world. There is no time to try and contact the invading aircraft to determine their intentions prior to defending yourself. Any military pilot that ventures into foreign airspace can well expect to be downed.

      Andrew - 2012-06-26 15:21

      Not true. Turkey's airspace has been violated 114 times so far this year by military jets from foreign countries including Syria. None were shot down because Turkey is not at war with anyone.

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