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Downing Syrian helicopter justified: Davutoglu

17 September 2013

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that the shooting down of a Syrian helicopter that had violated Turkish air space was justified.

He defined the action as “punitive” and justifiable in terms of international justice and rules of engagement. The helicopter pilot had received warnings, he added.

Davutoglu stressed that Turkey would not accept any violation of its borders.

“As it was before, we are decisive about protecting our borders and citizens to the end … The necessary information [about the incident] will be handed to NATO, the United Nations Security Council, and the U.N. General Secretary,” he said.

“Nobody will dare to violate Turkey’s borders again. The necessary measures have been taken,” the foreign minister added.

In the meanwhile, Syria has accused Turkey of increasing tensions by downing the helicopter.

Syria’s army said on Monday that Turkey had been “hasty” in shooting down a Syrian helicopter after it entered Turkish airspace and accused Prime Minister Erdogan’s government of trying to escalate tensions along the border.

“The hasty response from the Turkish side, especially as the aircraft was on its way back and was not charged with any combat missions, is proof of the true intentions of Erdogan’s government toward Syria to increase tensions and escalate the situation on the border between the two countries,” Syria’s armed forces said in a statement released by its state run news agency, SANA.

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