Sunday, June 24, 2012

Turkey calls for NATO meeting after Syria downs jet in international airspace

On August 2, 1964, in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, engaged three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron ...

Turkey on Sunday called for a NATO meeting after accusing Syria of shooting down one of its warplanes in international airspace, as Damascus suffered new setbacks and violence scaled new heights.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also warned Ankara's southern neighbour not to challenge Turkey's military, as Britain, another member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, offered its support for "robust" international action.

"According to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria," Davutoglu told Turkey's TRT television.

"The Syrians knew full well that it was a Turkish military plane and the nature of its mission," he said. "Nobody should dare put Turkey's (military) capabilities to the test."

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: "The (President Bashar al-) Assad regime should not make the mistake of believing that it can act with impunity. It will be held to account for its behaviour.

"The UK stands ready to pursue robust action at the United Nations Security Council," Hague added, also confirming support for the efforts of UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan.

Turkey, after concluding the jet was downed in international airspace, called for a NATO meeting, a diplomatic source told AFP, confirming a television news report.

The source added that the meeting would be held on Tuesday.

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