23 June 2012

Syrian Shoots Down Turkish Plane

Syria is blundering around like a mean drunk in a bar, and they just landed a stray punch on the neighborhood badass that'd been staying out of the fight.

Syria shot down a warplane from Turkey on Friday that it said had violated its airspace, an event that illustrated the potential for the Syrian conflict to spill across its borders and risked a further deterioration in relations between neighbors that once were close allies.

In a terse statement after midnight, the office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Syria had downed a Turkish plane that disappeared about midday off the Syrian coast. The fate of the two pilots was unknown.

The official Syrian Arab News Agency, known as SANA, said the aircraft, flying low and fast, violated Syrian airspace over the Mediterranean Sea and was shot down by ground fire. It said the plane was hit about half a mile from the Syrian coast and crashed into the sea.

The incident appears to be another example of how the Syria conflict has elevated regional tensions. Syria sits in the heart of the volatile Middle East and its instability has already had ramifications in Turkey, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Will this become the pretext NATO needs to invoke Article 5 and intervene without bothering with the UN and Russian/Chinese obstructionism?

By: Brant

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