INTERNATIONAL > US envoy dismisses speculation over downing of Turkish jet

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U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone. AA photo

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone. AA photo

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone has dismissed speculation over where a Turkish jet was shot down on June 22, noting that the primary concern for Washington was that it was hit without warning.

“This is unacceptable. We are in solidarity with Turkey. All other details have no importance,” Ricciardone told reporters late yesterday on the sidelines of an Independence Day reception.
The U.S. ambassador’s words came following inquiries about foreign media reports which questioned Turkey’s version of the downing of the RF4-E jet by Syria on June 22. Russian and American media suggested the jet was shot down in Syrian airspace while trying to test Syria’s radar capacity. Turkey maintains that the plane was shot down in international airspace.
Ricciardone said Turkey was working hard to shed light on the incident. In his address to invitees, the ambassador described the two Turkish pilots as “heroes” and said, “Our hearts are with the families of the pilots.”  
Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz said the two Turkish pilots sacrificed their lives for the protection of the liberty of their country. “We will never forget them,” he said, adding that a ceremony would be held tomorrow in the eastern province of Malatya, the site of the base from which the men launched their ill-fated mission.
The Turkish military announced yesterday that the wreckage and the bodies of the pilots had been located.

Work is underway to bring the bodies and all parts of the wreckage to the surface, Yılmaz said. “We will try not to leave any single part of our jet on the seabed.”


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Notice on comments

Nadiri Başaran

7/5/2012 7:14:36 PM

What the Ambassador has said has always been the case from the start. Anyone who does not realise this have been missing the whole point in this tragedy.

Aslam Benli

7/5/2012 5:09:32 PM

Glad to see America on our side. And also, lets not forget we are long-time allies (we are also a NATO member). Unlike Sarkosy's France and others in the EU, America has been our friend (without asking us to change this or that law to become a member of the EU), we do not always agree on everything, but friends do not always agree on all issues. Real friends are on our side when bad times come. I can not wait to get those F-35 fighter jets, lets see who will mess with Turkiye!

Ahmetcan Caglayan

7/5/2012 4:12:03 PM

Good to see America backing up Turkey. Ricciardone is a good and wise man.

Blessed ME

7/5/2012 2:37:19 PM

Am not familiar with International Law or maritime security issues, but wonder if the one who gave orders for the flight to "test" Syrian radar system should be named. Understandably no one wishes to talk about this because Syrian "Regime" has bloody hands. What should countries do when things like this happens, ask the intruding aircraft or country of origin to "Please stop it?" Is it true that special forces of four NATO countries + two are behind military operations of Free Syrian Army?

Tayyar Abi

7/5/2012 2:12:49 PM

@Ryan James; Could you be a bit more specific. Sounds like a perfectly resonable and true statement to me. Unless of course you are a fan of the butchers in Syria, Iran and Russia.

Ryan James

7/5/2012 2:01:04 PM

What utter nonsense!
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