Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad al-Makdissi on Monday insisted that a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet its forces shot down on Friday had "violated Syrian sovereignty."
DAMASCUS- "The Turkish warplane violated Syrian airspace, and in turn Syrian air defences fired back and the plane crashed inside Syrian territorial waters," he told a news conference that he said would "refute the lies" of Turkish officials.
"What happened is a gross violation of Syrian sovereignty," Makdissi said, adding that "Turkey itself has already attested that the plane violated Syrian airspace."
He said the aircraft was sighted flying at "800 kilometres per hour" when it was "one or two kilometres from the Syrian coast." He added that it could be seen with the "naked eye" as it headed towards the shoreline.
Makdissi said the plane could not have been hit over international waters, because the gun that hit it has a "maximum range of two and a half kilometres" and that "holes on the tail of the plane prove it was shot down by machinegun fire, not by missiles."
He said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's version of events was "completely contrary to the facts of this attack on Syrian sovereignty."
Davutoglu told Turkey's TRT television that, "according to our conclusions, our plane was shot down in international airspace, 13 nautical miles from Syria." "The Syrians knew full well that it was a Turkish military plane and the nature of its mission. Nobody should dare put Turkey's (military) capabilities to the test."
NATO alliance is to hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday at the request of member nation Turkey.
"If the goal of the meeting is to calm the situation and promote stability, we wish it success," Makdissi said. But "if the goal of the meeting is aggression, we say that Syrian airspace, territory and waters are sacred for the Syrian army, just as Turkish airspace, territory and waters are sacred for the Turkish army."
He said search and rescue operations and cooperation between Turkey and Syria were continuing.
"Unfortunately, we didn't find the pilots but we did find the wreckage of the fighter jet," he said.
Turkey-Syria relations were already strained by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's outspoken condemnation of the Syrian regime's bloody crackdown, which rights activists say has killed more than 15,000 people since March 2011.