June 24, 2012 / 2:27 PM / 8 years ago

Italy condemns "unacceptable" downing of Turkish jet

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi condemned Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish jet as “unacceptable” on Sunday and said Italy would take an active part in NATO consultations due to take place at Turkey’s request on Tuesday.

Turkey said earlier Syria shot down the aircraft in international waters on Friday without warning and declared it would formally consult with NATO allies to discuss a response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“This is a further extremely serious and unacceptable action by the Assad regime,” said Terzi.

The Turkish plane was shot down during an “inoffensive flight” over the Mediterranean, Terzi said.

He also denounced the “increasingly intolerable humanitarian conditions” that he said Damascus was subjecting its people to, and the fact that international observers were being prevented by Syria from carrying out their tasks.

Assad’s security state, dominated by his minority Alawite sect, is now embroiled in a bloody fight for survival against rebels mostly from Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Alison Williams

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