Syrian air defences shot down Turkish military plane: sources
Reuters Jun 22, 2012 – 10:30 AM ET | Last Updated: Jun 22, 2012 11:12 AM ET
Handout / Reuters files
Smoke rises from the Baba Amr neighbourhood of Homs in Syria.
BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar television station said on Friday that Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish military aircraft, quoting Syrian security sources.
“Syrian security sources confirmed to a Manar correspondent in Damascus that Syrian defence forces shot down the Turkish fighter jet,” a news flash on the Beirut-based station said.
Turkey said on Friday it had lost contact with one of its military aircraft while it was over the sea off the southeastern coast, and a television station said it had crashed in Syrian territorial waters.
CNN Turk television said Turkey was in contact with the Syrian authorities to get permission to conduct a search for the airmen, although there was no immediate official confirmation.
In a statement, Turkey’s military said a search and rescue operation was underway. It lost radar and radio contact with the plane after it took off from Erhac Airport in the eastern province of Malatya, which borders Syria.
Two crew were aboard the F-4 at the time of the crash, the Turkish state news agency Anatolia said, citing Malatya governor Ulvi Saran.
Pro-Iranian Al-Mayadeen television station, which is based in Lebanon, quoted what it said were Turkish sources as saying a jet had been shot down by Syrian air defences near the border with Turkey.
Obama extends US emergency over Russian nuclear ‘threat’
Obama submitted a notice of the extension for publication in the U.S. Federal Register on Monday, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
“The accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said to the US Congress in a message accompanying the notice.
“For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation and maintain in force these emergency authorities to respond to this threat,” he said.
Former US President Bill Clinton declared the national emergency over Russian nuclear material in Executive Order 13159 of June 21, 2000. The emergency has been extended annually ever since.