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News Analysis: Syria's new government faces escalation of tension on international arena (2)

(Xinhua)

08:24, June 25, 2012

While the Syrian administration is showing resolve to undertake an inside enhancements in a bid to implement promised reforms, a new development has surfaced lately to face the formation of the new government aside from the simmering, ongoing violence.

On Friday, the Syrian areal defense system downed a Turkish warplane near the coastal city of Latakia in northern Syria, further flaming the already ailing relations between the two countries and triggering NATO ambassadors to discuss a possible response later this week.

A Syrian military spokesman said a Turkish fighter jet had penetrated the Syrian airspace earlier on Friday and it was shot down by Syrian army with anti-aviation artillery, adding it was dealt with in accordance to the laws observed in similar situations.

However, Turkey on Sunday said the fighter jet was shot down by Syria in international airspace, not in the Syrian territorial waters.

"Our plane shortly violated Syrian airspace, but not when it was shot down," said Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, adding that Syria had not issued a warning to Turkey before the shooting.

Syria insisted the plane penetrated its airfield and its foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, said his country has no hostile intentions towards Turkey.

Observers and experts believed that Turkey has deliberately sent its fighter jet, in a bid to push for a Syrian response to later ignite a possible military showdown, which has long been covertly desired by the superpowers, but was off the table and blocked by Syria's powerful allies in the UN Security Council, such as Russia.

After the incident, Turkish President Abdullah Gul vowed his country will do whatever is required to respond to the plane downing, adding that the incident is not possible to ignore.

Turkey has requested the NATO's governing body to convene Tuesday to discuss the incident, according to Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokesperson.

The consultations were called under article 4 of NATO's founding treaty that reads: The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.

Turkey has previously raised the possibility of invoking NATO in its defense after Syrian forces fired over the Turkish border.

The Syrian opposition abroad has long called for a military operation in Syria similar to the one that helped toppling the Libyan regime of Muammar Gaddafi last year, but the United States and its European allies have shown little appetite for such intervention given the complexity of the Syrian situation and the repercussions it might drag, particularly on Israel.

Syria's powerful regional allies with Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah, along with its international ones, such as Russia, have greatly contributed in restraining the superpowers from considering a military offensive on Syria.

However, with the new development in hand, a military showdown seems gaining more momentum, casting fears and uncertainty on the next stage.

【1】 【2】

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:姚春、马茜)

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