Describing its recent shooting down of a Turkish plane as self defense, Syria warned Turkey and its NATO allies against retaliating on Tuesday. The admonition came after Turkey requested a special meeting of NATO members to discuss how Ankara should respond to Syria's actions. "NATO is supposed to be there to strengthen countries," Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told a Damascus news conference. "If their meeting is for hostile reasons [they should know that] Syrian land and waters are sacred." Makdissi went on to suggest that downing the plane was a necessity: "Even if the plane was Syrian we would have shot it down."
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