`Syria downed Turkish jet in international space`

Turkey`s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the downed jet was not on a spying mission.

Updated: Jun 24, 2012, 22:13 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Ankara: Turkey`s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday said that Syria shot down their jet in international airspace.

The minister also added that the downed jet was not on a spying mission.

According to Davutoglu, the plane entered Syrian airspace on Friday, but quickly left when warned by Turkey.

He says the plane had no "covert mission related to Syria”, and it was purely on a training flight to test Turkey`s radar capabilities.

Davutoglu says the plane was shot down by Syria in "international airspace" several minutes after it left.

He spoke on state-run TRT television on Sunday, two days after the downing of the jet in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Syria on Saturday insisted the shooting down of the plane was "not an attack”, and that the plane had violated its airspace.

Also yesterday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul had vowed to do whatever is required.

On Friday, a Syrian military spokesperson admitted that a Turkish fighter jet penetrated the Syrian airspace earlier in the day and it had been shot down by Syrian Army with anti-aircraft artillery.
The spokesperson said that it was dealt with in accordance to the laws observed in similar situation.

"What happened was a defensive and sovereign act," said Makdissi on on Saturday, claiming existing coordination between the Turkish and Syrian governments to locate the whereabouts of the missing pilots.

Joining the search for the pilots is a clear evidence that Syria is dealing with this situation with responsibility, Makdissi said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish President said that it is certain that the Turkish jet had been shot down by Syria, which is not possible to ignore.

He also stressed that it was routine for warplanes flying at high speed to cross borders for short distances.

(With Agency inputs)