NATO to Hold Urgent Meeting on Syria

NATO member flags outside the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium

ANKARA, Turkey - The head of the NATO military alliance is calling the Syrian downing of a Turkish jet unacceptable, and said the alliance condemns it "in the strongest terms."

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed solidarity with Turkey on Tuesday but made no mention of retaliatory action.

The jet was shot down Friday. Turkish officials admit it strayed into Syrian air space but say it left after being warned and was shot down in international air space.

Fogh Rasmussen said NATO was following the situation closely. "I certainly expect that such an incident will not happen again," he said.

Turkey, responding to the downing of one of its jets by Syrian forces, says its military will respond to any future violation of its border by Syrian military elements.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkish Armed Forces "will respond to all violations on the Syrian border."

He said Syrian helicopters have violated Turkish airspace five times recently, without Turkish response.

Syria insists that the Turkish plane violated its air space. But Turkey disagrees, saying that though the plane had unintentionally strayed into Syria's air space, it was inside international airspace when it was brought down on Friday.

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