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Davutoglu: Shooting Down of Helicopter 'Punishment' for Syria

Turkey’s frustration with the Damascus regime going unpunished, even for using chemical weapons, played a major role in shooting down a Syrian helicopter.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) walks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (C) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius after a meeting regarding Syria, at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris September 16, 2013. The United States, Britain, France and Russia agree Syria must face consequences if it does not fully comply with a U.N. resolution to ensure a handover of its chemical weapons, Kerry said on Monday.   REUTERS/Larry Downing  (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX13N9S
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First, let’s have look how the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc voiced his own and his party’s reaction to the US-Russia accord on elimination of the Baath regime’s chemical weapons: "Until today, according to official counts, about 120,000 people have died in Syria including children, women and youth. None of them were killed with chemical weapons until Aug. 21 at Ghouta. About 110,000 people have been killed with conventional weapons. Assad and his supporters still have those weapons, and they will continue to kill with them. Won’t anyone be held responsible for the massacres? The events we live through make us rebel. The answers to these questions are not in the US-Russia agreement. Turkey’s attitude is humanitarian. We will do our part."

Without fully grasping what Arinc meant, the factors that led to shooting down a Syrian helicopter by a Turkish warplane the next day on grounds of violating Turkish airspace can’t be understood.

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