NATO ambassadors will hold an “extraordinary” meeting Tuesday at Ankara’s request to discuss the Russian warplane crash claimed by Turkey along the Syrian border, an alliance official said.
“At the request of Turkey, the North Atlantic Council will hold an extraordinary meeting at (1600 GMT). The aim of this extraordinary NAC is for Turkey to inform Allies about the downing of a Russian airplane,” the official told AFP.
“NATO is monitoring the situation closely. We are in contact with Turkish authorities.”
Ankara said two of its F16 fighters shot down a Russian Su-24 after it violated Turkish airspace 10 times within a five-minute period along the Syrian border. Russia says its aircraft was downed in Syrian airspace.
The North Atlantic Council consists of ambassadors from the 28 NATO member states. It meets regularly but can be convened into emergency session if one of the allies feels its security is under threat.
But in an apparent sign of caution, Turkey did not request the meeting under NATO’s Article Four, under which a member declares that its territorial integrity, political independence or security is under threat.
Ankara did invoke NATO’s Article Four back in October to call just such an emergency meeting after Russian planes violated its airspace several times following the start of Moscow’s air campaign against Syrian rebels.