Friday, June 22, 2012

Turkey's government has called an emergency security meeting amid reports that one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syrian http://security forces.

Turkey's government has called an emergency security meeting amid reports that one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syrian security forces.

The Turkish military earlier said it had lost contact with an F-4 Phantom over the Mediterranean Sea on Friday morning, south-west of Hatay province.

It did not confirm reports that Syrian air defence forces were responsible.

But local media are quoting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying "the other side have expressed regret".

Mr Erdogan also revealed that the two crew members were safe.

Relations between Turkey and Syria, once close allies, have deteriorated sharply since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

'Syrian waters'
The Turkish military said it lost radio contact with the F-4 at 1158 (0858 GMT) on Friday while it was flying over Hatay, about 90 minutes after it took off from Erhac airbase in the province of Malatya, to the north-west.

"Search-and-rescue efforts have started immediately," a statement said.

The private news channel, NTV, later cited unnamed military sources as saying that the plane had crashed off Hatay's Mediterranean coast, in Syrian territorial waters, but that there had been no border violation. Read More