Turkey, Syria Rift Widens

Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi

ANKARA, DAMASCUS (Combined Sources)—Turkey will demand NATO support Tuesday at a special meeting after Syria downed a Turkish warplane, which both sides agree had entered Syrian airspace on Friday.

However, an effort to quell the unrest by both sides soured on Sunday, when Turkey called the incident an “act of aggression.” On Monday, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told a news conference that Syria’s actions “would not go unpunished,” while claiming that Syrian forces shot down a second plane on its way for a rescue mission. This report has not been confimed.

Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi told a press conference Monday that the Syrian response to the Turkish military aircraft which blatantly violated Syrian borders was a defensive and sovereign act, and that “Syrian territories, waters and airspace are sacred,” reported the SANA news agency.

Makdessi said that what happened was a blatant violation of Syrian sovereignty according to international law, which is confirmed by facts, information, and that Turkey also admitted to the violation of Syrian airspace and territorial waters.

The spokesman called into question Davutoglu’s assessment of the events. In an interview with TRT TV Sunday, the Turkish Foreign Minister claimed that the aircraft was hit and crashed in international waters.

Makdessi pointed out that the Syrian anti-aircraft defense used a land-based anti-aircraft machinegun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers, and that the wreckage found by the Syrian authorities and delivered to the Turkish side with an official record shows holes in the tail-end of the plane which confirm that it was shot down by a ground-based machinegun, not missiles.

“Had the aircraft been over territorial waters, we would have used missiles, not a land-based anti-aircraft machinegun with a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers… all of this confirms the fallacy of the allegations that the aircraft was shot down outside Syrian territorial waters,” he said.

In response to Davutoglu’s statement that the aircraft wasn’t alerted, Makedessi said that the Syrian anti-air defenses operate automatically in such cases, and that even if the unidentified aircraft was Syrian, it would have been shot down in the same manner, adding that that machinegun that shot down the plane isn’t equipped with radar; rather it had visual confirmation of it approaching at a distance of 1 to 2 kilometers at an altitude of 100 meters and at a speed of 800 kph.

Makdessi also added that Turkey did not immediately respond to Syria’s suggestion to form a joint military technical committee to visit the site of the incident in Lattakia, saying the rescue operations are ongoing with coordination between the two sides, which resulted in finding the wreckage and delivering it to the Turkey. The two pilots have not been found.

Makdessi expressed hope that Davutoglu would make reconsider its posturing, adding that Syria has no ill intentions toward Turkey. , adding “There is  a crisis in Syria, but the solution cannot be through aggravating, mobilizing and arming the movement in Syria, nor through hosting entities that do not believe in a political solution but rather believe in militarizing the movement and  undermining the stability of the neighboring country, Syria.”

Tuesday’s NATO meeting will be the second time the alliance convenes under Article 4 of its charter which provides for consultations when a member state feels its territorial integrity, political independence or security is under threat.

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13 Comments

  1. Kevork said:

    Dear USA,
    As Armenians, the only thing we have seen from the Syrian government, including their “dictators”, is kindness and acceptance, and the only thing we have seen from Turks is murder, theft, brutality and genocide. Omitting the mentally insane, do you honestly believe that we as normal people, whether intelligent or not, would for one second believe that the Syrian government is a brutal, guilty dictatorship which “massacres its people”, while the Turkish one is a kind, generous, humanitarian government with a genocidal track record of freely murdering Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, and now Kurds to the tune of several million innocent victims?

    If you believe and expect this, then It appears that an evil force has usurped the government of the United States, and this evil force must be purged along with all other terrorism in the world, in order for the honest American public to take their country back from this non-American impostor terrorist group disguised as “humanitarian democrats”.

  2. albert said:

    This is the typical Turkish Neo-Ottomanist plan to invade and takeover Syria and reestablish the Ottoman empire. These Turks are psycho enough to try this garbage. I would not be suprized if the Turks shot down their own plane and blamed it on the Syrians. A fast moving jet is difficult to hit with a visually-aimed anti-aircraft gun and this does not make sense. You need radar to aim the anti-aircraft gun effectively to destroy a fast-flying jet. The human eye can’t catch up to a fast flying jet.This is too suspicious. In addition with modern GPS navigation systems, why would the RF-4 fly into Syrian airspace. It simply does not make sense.Maybe the plane was an F-4 modified to be a drone and was without pilots.

  3. Zareh said:

    Armenia should publicly stand up and defend Syria and its government in their time of need. President Assad is the first Arab President who visited Armenia and placed a wreath at the Genocide Memorial.
    President Assad has been very close to the Syrian Armenian community. The Armenians in Syria enjoyed all the freedoms including religious, cultural and economic.
    Armenia and the global Armenian diasporas should in every way they can talk positive about the President Assad. We should help a friend when in need. Obviously the Turkish regime is intent in toppling the Syrian regime and the consequences would be catastrophic to the Syrian Armenian community. The Turks did the same thing in Lebanon murdering many of the Armenian leaders in Lebanon during the Civil War. Turks can not stand seeing hundreds of thousands of Armenians close to their homeland. Their primary purpose is to spread the Armenian communities in the Middle East to as far as possible from Van and Gars and Ardahan and Erzurum and Bitlis.
    I personally thank President Assad for his good treatment of the Armenians in Syria. The Armenians will never forget you Mr. President.

    • Avery said:

      Well said Zareh.

      RoA cannot interfere in Syria’s internal afairs, but RoA Foreign Ministry must definitely make a statement in support of Syria.

  4. Garo said:

    Turkey and Israel have violated laws and entered Syrian airspace before, knowingly and intentionally for reconnaissance and provocation. Previously, the Syrians never fired, they either did nothing or just gave a warning, knowing what will happen. This time Syria did the right thing, acted whithin it’s rights and it was time to act against provocateurs and bullys.
    Now, Turkey and NATO will try to use this incident to incriminate Syria, they will be the the judge and the jury at the same time to achieve their twisted rule against Syria. After Syria is over, it will be other countries turn.
    Enough NATO, leave the world in peace.

  5. George said:

    Turkey is trying to see by heating up tensions if he can make some $$$$$$$ from Saudi Arabia and the West, by selling Turkish and Syrian blood for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  6. Alex Postallian said:

    Dont worry Syria,jerkee turkey wont attack,unless they have half of the world behind them,then they will be way behind,in force,carrying the toilet supplys.ALL BARK,NO BITE.

  7. shahe said:

    Turkey is trapped. Its allies are laughing at the naive Turkish enthusiasm of a so-called front-line heroic assignment bestowed to the Turkish government, while openly sympathizing with the scapegoat. This is child play. Turkey is not to be blamed. Children always follow the learning curve. One has to look for NATO’s declared intentions versus Assad’s play. For the past year and a half we only see that Assad is calling the shots, except the very mistakes of the first few days in Dara’a, and opponents are following the slow learning process of their fate and for which no western power is on the losing side, whence the dragging scenario. We have not yet seen on the ground the wishful plan of the Western power for the demise of Assad. Some officially assigned diplomats maintain a good income on this bet since they are in guaranteed business for a long period of time. For once, or rather on a second occasion, we may be witnessing the coming of another Sassountsi Tavit.

    • Alex Postallian said:

      turkey is to be BLAMED..For centuries their dastardly behavior toward their minorities lies and history reformed from the truth,hatred for the non turks,a build up for years,has come to fruit.REMEMBER,turkeys history,has been one of a COWARD.In WW1 being part of the AXIS,beaten on two fronts,by EQUAL forces,they got on their knees GROVELLED,joined the Allies.The Cowards will only attack a foe twenty times smaller,unarmed women,children,and old people.i.e. Armenian Genocide. The naivite lies in those still making excuses for for OLD YELLOW STAIN turkey,The world is waking up.

  8. John said:

    This is a war between Shite Syria and Sunni terrorists and the west only blames Syria but the Sunni Turks are allowed to continue to commit a genocide against the Kurds.Bahrain is allowed to commit mass murder of Shite majorities and the west stays silent. Same thing holds true in Saudi Arabia where woman who are raped are also executed. Saudi Arabia is a barbaric state that also persecutes Shite’s.

  9. Sevag said:

    First – Turkey is trying to be the leader of the Middle East and is playing the “victim” game….”They shot us down” etc. and trying to gain favor with the international world by using the Syrian crisis and of course the backing of Western powers nad making them happy. Second they are going to use the “they downed our jet” game against Isreal by saying – “oh the international world got upset when it was Syria downing one of our jets, but you do not get upset when 9 civilians were killed sending aid to Gaza on the Mavi Marvara?”…now they are victims on both ends of the spectrum being “heroes” for the West and for the Arabs….puppets will always be puppets, eventually they will isolate themselves and get choked by the countries that surround them….zero problems with neighbor policy by Davutolgu has become a zero friends policy.

  10. Alex Postallian said:

    One important factor in dealing with a congenital Liar,is let them know it immediately,and shut them off. jerkee turkey is in that category,you cant believe any thing they say. For instance—50 jerkee soldiers killed by PKK,probably one from pnuemonia.100 PKK soldiers killed,probably only one from a heart attack.The irony is that the person who believes them,is just as STUPID.

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