‘The facts concerning the incident in which a Turkish fighter jet was shot down by Syrian air defences last week have yet to be proven. However, what we can say is that the warplane was brought down in Syrian territorial waters. Its two pilots are believed to have ejected and are uninjured, although they have not yet been located since Friday’s crash.
Damascus claims that the military aircraft violated its airspace, thus giving it the right to shoot it down. Istanbul has admitted that the RF-4E Phantom jet did enter Syrian airspace “for a short time” but that it exited before being hit. The fact so far that the wreckage was subsequently located in the Mediterranean Sea within Syrian territorial waters tends to support the claim of legitimate defensive action by Syria. The precedent for such Syrian action is well established.’