Turkish PM could not confirm reports that Damascus apologized for shooting down Turkish Air Force plane
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not bring any light to what happened to a military plane that was reportedly shot down by Syria, as he talked to media after the plane’s disappearance.
Erdogan did not confirm reports that Damascus had apologized for shooting down the plane. The PM also refrained from sharing any information about the fate of the two pilots, who were reported as rescued earlier. Further statements are expected after a security meeting.
The plane crashed into or nearby Syrian territorial waters earlier today, according to reports. A missile fired by the Syrian defense system shattered it to pieces after which the jet plunged into the Mediterranean Sea.
Syrian vessels have joined a search operation, which was launched immediately after the Turkish military lost radar and radio contact with the craft. The plane took off from Erhac Airport in the eastern province of Malatya at 10 a.m. local time.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that Syrian defense forces had been shooting at two foreign planes.
“Witnesses spotted two jets flying in from Turkish territory. One of the planes went down in Syria’s territorial waters, while the other one made off,” says Ihab Sultan, a local correspondent in Syria, told RT.
Relations between Ankara and Damascus have become marred by Turkey’s open support of the Syrian opposition, which is seeking to topple the government of President Bashar Al-Assad. On Friday, Turkey denied the Syrian government’s accusations that it is supplying rebels with arms.
Still, Turkey remains a NATO member, which means that in the event of an attack it could summon the aid of all the alliance members. In April, Turkey already called on NATO to protect its borders as cross-border fire from Syria hit a refugee camp on Turkish territory. These statements were condemned as “provocative” by Assad’s government.
International relations expert Mark Almond says in the event of a NATO intervention scenario, Turkey might launch a probing flight to assess Syria’s capabilities.
“If the NATO countries were really thinking of some kind of intervention to assist the rebels against Assad’s regime, the first thing they’ll want to do is to knock out Syria’s air forces and defense systems. So some kind of a probing flight testing Syria’s responses would be possible. But it is also possible this is a tragic mishap,” Almond told RT from Bilkent University in Ankara.
nsnbc is monitoring the developments closely and will publish a full report on Sunday, after the results of the Turkish Emergency Talks and other developments transpire.
In a recent article by Christof Lehmann about NATO´s 25th Summit in Chicago it was suggested that NATO´s decision to make increased use of NATO´s Article 5 – Collective Response – was likely to be used as a pretext for war on Syria.
Here is a quote from the article by Christof Lehmann. (Link to full article below)
“Yet another development in NATO expansionist strategy are considerations to make more use of NATO`s Article 5. The first precedence for the use of Article 5 was the interpretation of the events on 9/11 2001 as an attack on a NATO member, that justified a collective response and defense against Afghanistan. (5) The use of Article 5 as well as the use of “the responsibility to protect” are currently being debated as a pretext for justifying an overt military aggression against Syria. The pretexts that are considered are, that the security of Turkey will be threatened by the development of the crisis in Syria. (6) As a pretext for the use of “the responsibility to protect” it is most likely that the recent and continuing bombings in Syria, which are attributed to Al Qaeda, are used to justify the argument that the Syrian Government is unable to protect it`s own population from an ever more deteriorating situation, and that, regardless the fact that Al Qaeda has long been discredited as a creation of NATO. Media makes it possible.“
Editor: Other scenarios, such as provoking the shooting down of a jet, or a false flag downing of a Turkish plane are within the scope of possibilities as well. Please read the full article here: