Syrian officials have reportedly issued a rare apology:
Damascus has apologized for shooting down a military plane, which went off Turkish radars earlier in the day, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said as reported by Hurriyet daily.
The plane was taken down by Syrian forces, an official Turkish source confirmed to Hurriyet.
The plane crashed into Syrian territorial waters earlier today, according to reports. A missile shattered it to pieces after which the missile plunged into the Mediterranean Sea. The two pilots were later saved off the shore of Hatay, a south eastern province bordering Syria.
It appears that the parties involved are working through this rationally. Today’s events just illustrate how dangerous these situations can be. The region is increasingly just a couple of cascading errors away from shots fired. This won’t lead to war but it will does add another layer of complexity and tension to an already difficult problem.
However, Mr Erdogan later told a news conference that he could not confirm reports that Syria had shot it down and had apologised.
He said he had no word on the fate of the pilot and navigator on board.
As I said initially, it takes a while for the facts to shake out in a story like this.