Turkey has hardened its anti-Syrian rhetoric after one of its reconnaissance aircraft was downed by Syrian air defences on Friday.
It has since emerged that a second plane, a Turkish search and rescue aircraft, was also attacked as it entered Syrian airspace to locate the missing F-4 Phantom. It comes 24 hours ahead of a NATO emergency meeting to discuss the incident.
Turkey requested the talks, invoking Article Four of the alliance’s founding treaty, which deals with threats to the security of member states.
Relations between Ankara and Damascus have been strained since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Syria’s bloody crackdown on opposition activists.
Search teams say they have located the Turkish plane at a depth of 1,300 metres in the. Work is due to begin to retrieve the aircraft from the sea floor.
There are no signs of the two missing crew members. A spokesperson for the Syrian government said: “Syria was merely exercising its sovereign duty and defence.”
Turkey has vowed a strong, decisive and legitimate response.