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Publish Date : Sunday 24 June 2012 - 08:09
Iraq warns of Syria crisis spillover into neighboring countries
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari
Islam Times - Iraq’s foreign minister has warned of the spillover of an escalation in the Syrian crisis into neighboring states following the downing of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria.
"Our main concern is the spillover of the crisis into neighboring countries," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told a news conference in Baghdad.

"No country is immune from this spillover because of the composition of the societies, the extensions, the connections, the sectarian, ethnic dimensions," said the foreign minister, adding that if the crisis slid into a civil war, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey would be affected.

Syria on Saturday confirmed shooting down a Turkish fighter jet flying over its territorial waters, stressing that it engaged the jet in its own airspace “according to the laws that govern such situations.”

According to a military statement issued on Friday, the F-4 Phantom was downed in Syrian territorial waters west of the village of Om al-Tuyour in Lattakia Province, 10 kilometers from the beach.

    Earlier in the day, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said the US-made fighter jet shot down by the Syrian Army might have violated Syria's airspace.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. The violence has claimed the lives of many people, including security forces.

Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the unrest, asserting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

The West and the Syrian opposition, however, accuse the government of killing protesters.
Story Code: 173748