Monday, June 25, 2012

Turkey in a letter to Security Council: The aircraft was shot in international airspace

In this letter (find a copy here) to the Security Council, Turkey stated that Syria shot down its aircraft in the international airspace and shot at second aircraft involved in search and rescue. 

I would like to bring your kind attention a significant incident that poses a serious threat to peace and security in the region, in the context of the Syrian crisis.
On 22 June 2012, at 11:58 local time, a Turkish RF-4 type military aircraft was shot down by Syrian forces While flying solo and without arms 13 NM off the coast of Syria in international airspace at an altitude of 7400 feet.
The precise coordinates of the incident are 35 48.22N - 35 32.21E. The aircraft did not display any hostile attitude or maneuver and was flying with its identification systems open. The shooting came Without any prior Warning. After receiving a the aircraft diverted towards the Syrian coast and crashed into the sea at 8 NM-off the coast of Latakia, precisely at the coordinates 35 48.26N - 35 37.59E.
In fact, both Turkish and Syrian radar and radio records testify that our aircraftiifvas shot at the international airspace. Third parties’ radar records would substantiate these facts as well. Furthermore, the captured radio communication among Syrian ' authorities clearly demonstrates that the Syrian units were fully aware of the circumstances and the fact that the aircraft belonged to Turkey.
Search and rescue operation has immediately been initiated and still continues. Yet, on 22 June 2012, harassment fire was opened to our CASA type aircraft by an anti—aircraft artillery positioned on the Syrian shore in spite of the established coordination with the Syrian authorities for the Search and Rescue Operation.
Turkey’s primary focus at this moment is the search and rescue mission. Once all the facts are established, We Will decide on the scope of the measures in response to this act. Turkey withholds her -rights emanating from international law.
This attack at the international airspace, causing possible loss of two Turkish pilots, is a hostile act by the Syrian authorities against Turkey’s national security. Thus, we strongly condemn it.
I would be grateful if the text of the present letter could be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 34, and of the Security Council.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

HE. Mr. Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General United Nations
New York
Yours truly,
Apakan Ambassador Pennanent Representative
H.E. Ambassador Mr. Li Baodong President of the Security Council
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