The Turkish Armed Forces' rules of engagement have changed as a result of Syria shooting down a Turkish warplane and they will respond to any violation on the Syrian border, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
Turkey would not engage in war-mongering, but the attack on the reconnaissance jet, which was deliberately targeted, would not be left unanswered, Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling AK Party deputies in parliament.
Erdogan noted that Turkish Armed Forces "will respond to all violations on the Syrian border" and that Syrian helicopters have violated Turkish airspace five times recently, without Turkish response.
No longer BFFs? Assad and Erdogan (Photo: AP)
Syria insists that the Turkish plane violated its air space. But Turkey disagrees, saying that though the plane had unintentionally strayed into Syria's air space, it was inside international airspace when it was brought down on Friday.
Meanwhile, the head of the NATO military alliance is calling the Syrian downing of a Turkish jet unacceptable, and said the alliance condemns it "in the strongest terms."
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed solidarity with Turkey on Tuesday but made no mention of retaliatory action.
Fogh Rasmussen said NATO was following the situation closely. "I certainly expect that such an incident will not happen again," he said.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop