Syria warns NATO of conspiring against Damascus

Syria has warned NATO against conspiring with Turkey against Damascus in their upcoming meeting on the shooting down by Syria of a Turkish jet fighter.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said on Monday that the Turkish F-4 jet had “violated Syrian sovereignty” and that the country’s military response was an act of self-defense. He also said that the plane failed to indentify itself.

”The Turkish warplane violated Syrian airspace, and in turn Syrian air defenses fired back and the plane crashed inside Syrian territorial waters,” Makdissi told a news conference in Damascus, adding that Syria is committed to good neighborly relations with Turkey and that the side which has damaged bilateral relations between the two countries is not Damascus.

His remarks came as NATO ambassadors are due to discuss the shooting down of the Turkish jet fighter in an emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. Ankara claims that the plane was on above international waters, while admitting that it may have briefly violated Syrian airspace.

“If the goal of the meeting (on Tuesday) is to calm the situation and promote stability, we wish it success.” But “if the goal of the meeting is aggression, we say that Syrian airspace, territory and waters are sacred for the Syrian army, just as Turkish airspace, territory and waters are sacred for the Turkish army,” Makdissi said.

He also said that the wreckage of the Turkish F-4 jet has been found, which proves that it had been shot down within Syrian waters.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t find the pilots but we did find the wreckage of the jet fighter,” Makdissi said.

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