Syria explains Turkish fighter incident

June 25, 2012 at 12:51 PM
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DAMASCUS, Syria, June 25 (UPI) -- Negative actions from the Turkish government regarding the conflict in Syria have aggravated the situation, a spokesman for the Syrian government said.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi said Monday that Syrian forces were able to confirm the downing of a Turkish fighter jet using land-based, anti-aircraft guns.

Makdessi was quoted by the official Syrian Arab News Agency as saying the event represented a clear violation of Syrian sovereignty.

"The Turkish foreign minister in particular and the Turkish government in general have been negative over the past 15 months regarding the crisis in Syria," he said. "They seek to aggravate the situation in Syria."

He said Damascus was dealing with the issue "rationally" with the aim of invoking a similar response from the Turkish government. Ankara said it was calling on NATO to consider the incident.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency, meanwhile, reports that more than 30 Syrian military officers crossed over into Turkish territory to defect.

Ankara added it was planning to cut its electricity supplies to Syria in response to the conflict. Turkey supplies Syria with about 10 percent of its electricity needs.

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