But the British, Dutch and Swedish ministers told press on Monday morning that the F4 incident will not trigger retaliation.
The UK’s William Hague said: “I don’t think it illustrates a different phase of the Syrian crisis.”
The Netherlands’ Uri Rosenthal said military action is “out of the question.”
Unlike the hopes and barely concealed enthusiasm of some hawks here in the U.S. in response to the news about the Turkish jet, no one in any position of responsibility in Europe or Turkey appears to desire military intervention in Syria. There is very little American support for Western military action at any level, and the public overwhelmingly opposes deeper involvement in the conflict. There is very little regional support for any form of military intervention, and almost none for intervention by Western states. One Turkish jet that was shot down in disputed circumstances was not going to change that. When the U.S. and European governments have wanted to find reasons to use force against other states, they have been willing to use very flimsy excuses and pretexts. When there is no political will to launch an attack, there is no attempt to ignore just how flimsy these excuses are.
Update: Another report confirms the impression Turkey is not interested in invoking Article V:
Mustafa Kibaroglu, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Okan University, said that by calling Tuesday’s emergency meeting, Turkey was trying to show Syria that it has the full support of NATO and the European Union.
But he dismissed the possibility the alliance would activate a rule in its founding treaty – Article 5 – that declares that an attack against any NATO country shall be considered as an attack against them all.
“Unless there is another … act of provocation (from Syria), there will be no activation of Article 5,” Kibaroglu said.