But Arinc also said that Turkey has “no intention of going to war with anyone,” Reuters reported.
On Sunday, Turkey announced it had summoned its NATO allies to an emergency meeting over the incident under Article 4 of the Alliance’s charter, which allows consultations in the event of a threat.
NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said the ambassadors of the alliance’s 28 member states will meet in Brussels on Tuesday to hear a Turkish presentation on the incident.
“Under Article 4, any ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened,” she said in a statement.
A NATO official, speaking anonymously as is customary, noted that the organization’s Secretary General has repeatedly stated that “a regional solution is ideal, and that NATO has no plans to intervene whatsoever in Syria, and that has not changed.”
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the downing of the jet “a brazen and unacceptable act.” She said the United States was consulting with its allies and partners regarding “next steps” to be taken against Syria, at a time when a United Nations-led effort to address the spiraling bloodshed inside Syria through diplomacy is faltering.
The AP reported that European Union foreign ministers on Monday condemned Syria’s action, but said they will not support military intervention.
Though immediate military action seems unlikely, and Western nations have repeatedly said they don’t want military intervention in Syria, Turkey’s summons puts the Syria crisis on NATO’s agenda for the first time since the uprising began, and as such, “it is very significant,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.
“The preferred option for everyone, including the United States, is still a political solution,” he said. “But whereas a few days ago a military option was not on the cards, now it will be discussed in a way it hasn’t been for the past year and a half. It activates NATO, which we haven’t seen before.”
Turkey’s request for a NATO meeting came after two days of deliberations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his ministers and top Turkish military officials on the most serious cross-border incident yet since the Syrian revolt erupted 15 months ago, triggering fears of a wider regional conflict.
Staff writer Karla Adam in London and special correspondent Suzan Haidamous in Beirut also contributed to this story.