By Andrey Areshev (source: Strategic Culture Foundation)
Ankara is trying to get the most out of the incident when a Turkish reconnaissance aircraft was downed flying over the Syrian territorial waters on June 22. The North Atlantic Council will meet on June 26 to hold consultations on the issue.
NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said Turkey would submit a corresponding report in Brussels. On June 22. a Turkish Air Force RF-4E Phantom fighter aircraft disappeared from radar screens an hour and a half after taking off from the Erhach airbase in the Hatay province in southeastern Turkey bordering on Syria (1). A bit later Damascus said the aircraft was hit after entering the Syrian airspace stressing the incident was not to be considered as a “hostile act against Turkey”. Ankara responded saying Syria was to warn the crew about the planned action according to international law. By putting it this way Turkey admitted that its plane violated Syrian air space. Even in a much less tense situation than the one taking place in Syria now it couldn’t do without consequence. True, Turkey added later that while in international airspace the downed fighter “accidently” came near Syria but it sounded absolutely unconvincing. Right after that Ibrahim Kalyn, foreign policy advisor to the Turkish prime minister, accused Syria of “violating international law” and posted remarks on his microblog saying Turkey would take “strong and resolute measures” in response to the downed fighter. Continue reading