Sunday, June 24, 2012

Turkish Jet Shot Down: Inciting Incident for War?

Bloomberg reported:

A Turkish warplane shot down by Syrian forces was in international airspace when it was struck, and Turkey is still weighing a response to the attack, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said.

The unarmed plane briefly entered Syrian airspace minutes before it was hit on June 22, and then plunged into Syrian waters about 8 miles (13 kilometers) offshore, Davutoglu said on state television today. It was on a test flight related to Turkey’s radar system, and was not spying on Syria, he said. The plane was clearly identifiable as Turkish, and Syria made no attempt to issue a warning after the earlier infringement, Davutoglu said. Turkish rescue teams are still searching for the F4 Phantom jet’s two crew members, he said. 

The Turkish Foreign Minister went on to say, “No one should doubt Turkey’s determination to do what is necessary” in response to the incident.  CNN cited Turkey's classification of the downing as a hostile act.

BBC reported:

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said Syria's actions were "outrageous" and underlined "how far beyond accepted behaviour the Syrian regime has put itself".

"It will be held to account for its behaviour. The UK stands ready to pursue robust action at the United Nations Security Council."

NATO will meet on the incident Tuesday, June 26.  Meanwhile UN Syria Envoy Kofi Annan is working on a Syria summit for June 30 " to which all potential contributors to a solution would be invited."