Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Middle east

Turkey threatens Syria with power cuts over downed jet

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-26

Turkey threatened on Monday to halt electricity exports to Syria in retaliation for last week's "hostile" downing of a fighter jet. Syria says it acted in self-defence in an affair that has raised tensions between the rival powers.

AFP - Turkish Vice Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Monday said the shooting down of a fighter jet by Syria was a "hostile act of the highest order" and claimed a rescue plane was also attacked.

Arinc also told a news conference after a cabinet meeting to discuss Friday's incident, which has fuelled fresh tensions between the once close neighbours, that Ankara could halt power supplies to Damascus.

"To target an aircraft in this fashion without any warning is a hostile act of the highest order," he said, adding that the F-4 Phantom was struck by a heat-seeking guided missile in international airspace.

He also said Syrian troops opened fire on a rescue plane searching for the pilots but did not specify when.

"One of our CASA planes took off with a rescue team. Unfortunately, shots from the ground targeted our plane.

"Our foreign ministry and our military command notified Syrian authorities and this harassment ceased immediately," Arinc said, adding: "Everyone must know that this sort of behaviour will not go unpunished."

He said Ankara would respond within the framework of international law.

Earlier, a European diplomat told AFP a Turkish army Casa CN-235, a twin-propellor transport, was targeted by a Syrian ground-to-air defence system as it looked Friday for the F4 jet.

"When a plane is targeted by such a defence system, the pilots are warned by their instruments that they are targeted," added the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. But the plane was not shot at, he noted.

The NATO alliance is to hold an emergency meeting on Friday's incident in Brussels on Tuesday at the request of member nation Turkey.

Turkey-Syria relations were already strained by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's outspoken condemnation of the Syrian regime's bloody crackdown, which rights activists say has killed more than 15,000 people since March 2011.

Arinc warned that Ankara could switch off power exports, saying: "We have considered that for humanitarian reasons one should supply electricity to Syria so that the daily lives of the people are not affected.

"For the moment we will continue with this... but in one or two days there will be a declaration whether we will continue or not."

Private Turkish operator Aksa planned to supply 500 kilowatt hours of electricity to Syria this year, mainly to the city of Aleppo, Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported.

The downing of the Turkish jet has triggered a chorus of international condemnation as well as appeals for restraint to prevent a military escalation of the Syria conflict which is now in its 16th month.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg sought to up the pressure on Syria, imposing new sanctions targeting government ministries and companies, including a bank and a television channel.

 

Date created : 2012-06-26

  • TURKEY - SYRIA

    Syrian forces fired at second plane, says Turkey

    Read more

  • TURKEY - SYRIA

    Syria tries to defuse tension after downing Turkish jet

    Read more

  • TURKEY - SYRIA

    Ankara vows response after Syria downs Turkish jet

    Read more

COMMENT(S)