Bodies of Turkish pilots from downed jet found in Mediterranean
In a letter to the UN Security Council, a Turkish representative has said the Syrian military shot at a second Turkish jet during search and rescue even after establishing a joint operation to search for the plane's wreckage.
The letter said the Syrian military opened "harassment fire" at the Turkish jet which was involved in the search operation. This came hours after the first attack on the Turkish F-4 jet on Friday.
The Syrian military reportedly stopped firing after a warning from Turkish forces.
"Search and rescue operation has immediately been initiated and still continues. Yet, on 22 June 2012, harassment fire was opened at 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," the letter to the council said.
The letter added that the attack in international airspace was a hostile act by the Syrian authorities against Turkey which must be strongly condemned.
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The search operation for the missing pilots is continuing, but the letter itself acknowledges that the pilots could have been killed in the attack.
If the pilots are confirmed dead, it is expected to worsen the already volatile situation.
The shooting down of the jet poses a serious threat to peace and security in the region, said Turkey's letter.
The letter has come at a time when Nato is planning to hold emergency talks on Tuesday. Turkey invoked Article-4 of Nato over the incident.
Although military intervention is unlikely, reports suggest the Turkish officials also confirmed that they are not seeking military intervention.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has strongly condemned the shooting incident. According to a BBC report, Arinc said the shooting down of the jet was "a hostile act of the highest order." He added the action will "not go unpunished," but made it clear that Turkey had no intention of going to a war over the incidents.
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