June 25, 2012 3:23:11 PM EDT
A second Turkish plane has been shot at by Syria, Turkey's deputy prime minister said, as it was searching for the wreckage of a fighter jet downed by Syria last week.
Bulent Arinc told a televised news conference Monday that Syrian forces opened fire on a CASA search and rescue plane following the downing of a RF-4E reconnaissance jet in international airspace on Friday. Arinc did not say whether the search and rescue plane was hit.
He says the Syrian side ceased fire after a warning from the Turkish military.
Turkish officials have said the jet mistakenly strayed into Syrian airspace Friday, but was warned to leave by Turkish authorities and was a mile inside international airspace when Syria shot it down. The Turkish pilots are still missing.
Syria has said it was unaware that the F-4 Phantom jet belonged to Turkey, and that it was protecting its air space against an unknown intruder. In the past, Israeli warplanes have penetrated Syrian airspace by flying over the Mediterranean coastline.
Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the downing was an accident, caused by the "automatic response" of an officer commanding an anti-aircraft gun. The man saw a jet coming at him at high speed and low altitude and opened fire, Makdissi said.
On Monday, foreign ministers from the 27 European Union countries condemned Syria's downing of the first Turkish jet, but said the bloc would not support military action in the troubled country.
"What happened is to be considered very seriously," said Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal. Having gotten his denunciation out of the way, he let the other shoe drop: "We do not go for any interventions."
But after the downing, Turkey immediately called a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, NATO's governing body, on Tuesday to discuss the incident. Any NATO member can request such consultations if their territorial integrity has been threatened.
Turkey said Monday it would push NATO to consider Syria's downing of the jet as an attack on the whole military alliance.
Arinc said Turkey retained its right to "retaliate" against what he called a "hostile act," but he added, "We have no intention of going at war with anyone."
Turkey will push NATO to consider the armed attack under Article 5 in a key alliance treaty, Arinc said. Article 5 states that an attack against one NATO member shall be considered an attack against all members.
The North Atlantic Council -- which includes ambassadors of the 28 NATO countries -- works by consensus and all members must approve any action. The meeting Tuesday comes after Turkey requested it under Article 4 of the treaty, which allows a NATO ally to request such a consultation if it feels its territorial integrity or security has been threatened.
Asked if Turkey will insist on the activation of Article 5 of NATO, Arinc said, "No doubt, Turkey has made necessary applications regarding Article 4 and Article 5."
A Turkish government official said the government was trying to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Syria, where activists say more than 14,000 people have been killed in the 15-month uprising.