As NATO Meets, Turkey Blasts Syria as 'Open Threat'

Turkish PM Erdogan issues a warning to Damascus
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2012 7:20 AM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2012 7:40 AM CDT
As NATO Meets, Turkey Blasts Syria as 'Open Threat'
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the lawmakers of his Justice and Development Party at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, June 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

(Newser) – Turkey is hardening its stance against Syria, even as NATO meets today to discuss Syria's downing of a Turkish jet last week. Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned in an address to his parliament that Syrian troops would be considered an "open threat" if they come near his border, and spoke of his country's "rage" over the attack, the BBC reports. The deputy prime minister said that the incident will "not go unpunished," although he added that Turkey has "no intention" of going to war and wants to work "within a legal framework." Turkey has accused Syrian troops of also firing on a rescue plane searching for the missing pilots.

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Meanwhile, NATO's North Atlantic Council issued an official statement on the incident, condemning it as "unacceptable" and calling it "another example of the Syrian authorities' disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life." Today's meeting marks only the second time NATO has convened under Article 4 of its charter, al-Jazeera notes. That article allows for a consultation whenever one party feels its "territorial integrity, political independence, or security" has been threatened, but does not necessarily call for an armed response. Turkey had earlier described the shootdown as a "hostile act" in a letter to the UN Security Council, and that body will discuss the incident today as well. (Read more Turkey stories.)

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