World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said an F-4 jet downed by Syria on Friday was hit in international airspace and that it was on a training mission to test Turkey's own national radar system, adding that it was unarmed and had no mission related to Syria.
“The downed Turkish jet was shot down in the international flight zone 13 miles outside of Syria's flight zone,” he said on Sunday during an interview with TRT Haber. He further noted that the jet was only tasked with a routine test of Turkey's own radar system. In reference to Syria's response, Davutoğlu said, “It is either amateurish behavior or ill-intention to describe the Turkish plane as a threat.”
Explaining that in order to conduct the radar test the plane had to fly at a low altitude, Davutoğlu said the jet was hit 13 miles off the Syrian coast in international air space. “Our plane shortly violated Syrian airspace, but not during the time it was shot down,” he said.
The foreign minister further said Syria had not delivered any warnings to Turkey. “During the entire operation conducted by the downed jet, Syria made no attempt to contact Turkish authorities by any means,” he said. Davutoğlu added that Turkish intelligence intercepted radio communications from the Syrian side suggesting that they knew it was a Turkish plane.
He said Turkey's response will be clear after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's scheduled meeting with opposition leaders on Sunday. “We will, without any hesitation, decisively take the necessary steps regarding the Turkish plane downed by Syria,” he added.
Syria said Saturday it shot down a Turkish reconnaissance plane because the plane entered its airspace, insisting it was "not an attack" as both sides desperately tried to de-escalate the episode before it exploded into a regional conflagration.
The downed plane heightened tensions between two countries that had been allies before Syria's 15-month violent uprising, and signaled that the violence gripping Syria is increasingly bleeding outside its borders. Germany and Iraq were among the countries urging restraint in the region.
Syria and neighboring Turkey had cultivated close ties before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011, but since then Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of Syria's regime.
Motion will extend mandate for Turkey's cross-border operations in Iraq and Syria for another year
Interior Ministry official says 35,000 applications already completed
'It will not bring happiness to our Kurdish brothers in the region,' Turkish PM Binali Yildirim says
Jet catches fire which has been now put out; 2 pilots, air stewardess slightly hurt
Hakkari governorate says howitzers killed four PKK terrorists in Yuksekova district
Turkish Coast Guard rescues 38 others following incident early Friday morning
Turkey's Diyanet Foundation says its has given $16M in scholarship to foreign students
One injured, 8 arrested at Caglayan courthouse as rival sides in murder trial exchange fire
Operations launched as part of investigations conducted by Chief Public Prosecutor’s Offices across country
Center in capital’s Altindag district to provide healthcare services to mainly Syrian refugees in Turkey
Reinforcement commando units arrive at Syrian border near southern Hatay’s Reyhanli district, says military source
Air force launches strikes close to border late Tuesday, military says
Fifth Avenue premises will be 'important bridge' to US market for Turkey, says economy minister
BIST 100 index rises 0.36 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate falls 3.48
Kurdish Regional Government 'ignoring' Ankara, Erdogan says, warning sanctions would not be 'ordinary'
Do not let FETO terrorist group poison African countries' ties with Turkey, says Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz