Jun 23, 2012 2:04 AM
ANKARA, Turkey - Syria says it did shoot down a Turkish military plane that entered Syrian air space, and Turkey is vowing to "determinedly take necessary steps" in response.
It's the most clear and dramatic escalation in tensions between the two countries, which used to be allies before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011. Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of the Syrian regime's brutal response to the country's uprising.
Late Friday, Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said the military spotted an "unidentified aerial target" that was flying at a low altitude and at a high speed. SANA said "The Syrian anti-air defenses counteracted with anti-aircraft artillery, hitting it directly." The agency said it was a Turkish military plane.
Turkey issued a statement Friday night following a two-hour security meeting led by Turkey's prime minister saying Syrian forces downed the jet and that the two Turkish pilots remain missing.
It said Turkey "will determinedly take necessary steps" in response, without saying what those actions would be.