A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turkey Talks Tougher

After several days of expressing concern but by no means saber-rattling over the Turkish F-4 shot down by Syria. Turkey is now talking tougher, saying it is changing its rules of engagement and that if Syrian forces approach the Turkish border, that will be considered a threat.

Turkey admits the aircraft entered Syrian airspace over the Mediterranean but now says it then was ordered to leave by Turkish controllers and was 24 kilometers or 13 nautical miles from shore when downed, outside Syrian territorial waters.

The flight path shown by Syria suggests the aircraft was circling off the Syrian coast, possibly on a reconnaissance mission to gather electronic intelligence. Turkey has indicated it was on a training mission to test radar.

Turkey appears to have waited until it had the opportunity to consult with its NATO allies before taking a somewhat more threatening stance on the downed aircraft.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was at Turkish Embassy last night. Of interest is sudden change in travel plans for several high ranking Turkish officials, suddenly called back to Turkey. Not quite general mobilization, but if I were Bashar Al Asad, I would start getting more worried. Just as critical, probably, increasing signs that Putin is figuring how to maintain Russia's strategic relationship with Syrian military by sidelining Bashar. With reference to how the USG dealt with its embarrassing friend Ali Abdullah Saleh, those Russian chess players have been referring to it as the "Yemensky Variation." Next: Syrian inlaid furniture being purchased for a luxury villa in the north Caucasus?