Syria downs Turkish jet; Ankara vows to take steps
Ankara: Syria said it shot down a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian air space, and Turkey vowed to "determinedly take necessary steps" in response.
It was the most clear and dramatic escalation in tensions between the two countries, which used to be allies before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011. Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of the Syrian regime`s brutal response to the country`s uprising.
Late yesterday, Syria`s state-run news agency, SANA, said the military spotted an "unidentified aerial target" that was flying at a low altitude and at a high speed.
"The Syrian anti-air defences counteracted with anti-aircraft artillery, hitting it directly," SANA said. "The target turned out to be a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian airspace and was dealt with according to laws observed in such cases."
Turkey issued a statement last night following a two-hour security meeting led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying Syrian forces downed the plane and that the two Turkish pilots remain missing.
It said Turkey "will determinedly take necessary steps" in response, without saying what those actions would be.
"Following the evaluation of data provided by our related institutions and the findings of the joint search and rescue efforts with Syria, it is understood that our plane was downed by Syria," the statement said, without providing other details.
Relations between Turkey and Syria were already tense before the downing of the F4 plane yesterday.
Turkey has joined nations such as the US in saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad should step down because of the regime`s brutal suppression of the uprising in his country. Turkey also has set up refugee camps on its border for more than 32,000 Syrians who have fled the fighting.
Syria and Turkey have expelled each other`s ambassadors and Syria has accused Turkey of supporting Syrian opposition and even allowing Syrian rebels to operate out of Turkish soil. Turkey strongly denies the allegations.
After a cross-border shooting by Syrian forces in April, Turkey said it would not tolerate any action that it deemed violating its security. The firing had left two refugees dead at a camp near the town of Kilis just inside Turkey.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Selcuk Unal earlier yesterday rejected allegations that Turkey was sending arms and other equipment to Syrian rebels as baseless. Unal said Turkey was not sending weapons to any of its neighbours, including Syria.
Turkey`s military provided no details on the downed plane`s mission on Friday, but some Turkish TV reports said it was on a reconnaissance flight.
Syria claimed the jet violated its air space over territorial waters, penetrating about one kilometre, but that Syrian vessels joined the search for it, according to Turkey`s NTV television.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- One year of Modi govt: PM promises to fulfil aspirations
- Watch: Mumbai cops find new secret agents in housewives!
- Hundreds die as heat wave continues in India
- 2G scam: Ex-TRAI chief alleges Manmohan Singh had warned him to cooperate
- Salman Khan attends sister Arpita's wedding reception in Mandi
- Pranab Mukherjee defends Bofors scam, says it was just a media trial
- Zee Media's mega survey on Modi govt
- Zee Media Exclusive: Vidya Balan chats about 'Hamari Adhuri Kahani'
- Para athlete Deepa Malik complains of callous service by Air India
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- Smriti Irani visits Amethi, promises to pay insurance money to 25,000 women
- One year of Modi govt: Amit Shah addresses media
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Arpita-Aayush wedding reception: Salman Khan spreads love in Mandi, says `hum aapke hain`
- One year of NDA govt: PM Modi writes open letter to nation, promises to transform India
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- World optimistic about India: PM Narendra Modi on 1 year of NDA govt
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- MSBSHSE Class 12th HSC results 2015 to be declared at 1pm tomorrow
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at one year of Modi govt, wishes 'happy birthday' to 'suit-boot ki sarkar'
- Bharatiya Janata Party lacks majority for Ram Temple, Article 370: Amit Shah
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- AAP govt moves resolution against MHA notification: As it happened
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- Heatwave kills 90 more in Andhra, Telangana; toll crosses 800
- Gujjars adamant on holding talks in Bayana; rail tracks remain blocked
- CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow