“The downing of the Turkish plane without any warning is totally unacceptable and the responsibility for this attack clearly and exclusively lies with Syria,” a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Sunday. Turkey has said an F4 fighter jet was shot down in international airspace some 13 miles outside of Syria's flight zone.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said earlier on Sunday that the plane 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 statement said Turkey considered the Syrian act “hostile,” adding that it constituted “a clear and grave violation” of international law.
“Turkey reserves all rights stemming from international law and the Turkish government will decisively take all necessary counter measures concerning our missing pilots and plane,” the statement said regarding a diplomatic note delivered to Syria earlier on Sunday. On Tuesday Turkey called for an urgent meeting of NATO allies, invoking Article 4 of the alliance's founding treaty, in order to discuss the incident.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned “this brazen and unacceptable act in the strongest possible terms.” “It is yet another reflection of the Syrian authorities' callous disregard for international norms, human life, and peace and security,” Clinton said Sunday in a written statement.
Turkish authorities said search and rescue teams had located the wreckage of the plane 1,300 meters beneath the sea surface, adding that efforts were still under way to locate two missing pilots.