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Turkish plane shot down in Syrian airspace, Pentagon confirmed

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The Pentagon told the Wall Street Journal that the Turkish plane shot down by Syria, on 22 June 2012, was brought down by an anti-aircraft battery and not a surface-to-air missile.

The U.S. Department of Defense has thereby contradicted the Turkish version of the incident while corroborating the account provided by the Syrian government.

The Pentagon explained to the newspaper that the limited range of an anti-aircraft battery suggests that the aircraft had indeed been shot down in Syrian airspace. The F-4 Phantom model which was destroyed is generally used for intelligence missions. In addition, it said, the decision to use antiaircraft fire could have been made by a local commander, while that of firing a missile falls within the responsibility of the national military command.

On the strength of the Turkish version, the Atlantic Council strongly condemned Syria’s action stigmatizing it as another example of the "Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life." The Pentagon revelations came after this condemnation. However, no meeting has been scheduled by the Atlantic Council to review the NATO’s position in the light of this new information. Although officially contradicted, the lie will linger on.

U.S. Contradicts Turkey’s Jet Story”, by Julian E. Barnes, Adam Entous and Joe Parkinson, The Wall Street Journal, 2 July 2012.

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