A senior Turkish official said Monday that Ankara has asked NATO to consider Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish military reconnaissance plane last week an attack on the entire alliance.
“There is no doubt that Syrians deliberately targeted our plane in international airspace,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Monday, the Associated Press reported. “It was an extremely hostile action.”
NATO’s governing board, the North Atlantic Council, is due to meet Tuesday to discuss the incident. Turkey says Syria on Friday (June 22) shot down with no warning an unarmed Turkish RF Phantom reconnaissance jet, whose pilots have yet to be found. Syria later fired on a Turkish rescue plane sent to try to recover the pilots, Turkey said Monday.
(Syria claims it was acting in self-defense and that it did not know the plane’s national origins–charges Turkish officials bitterly refute.)