Washington’s Blog 
June 26, 2012
The world is already in Cold War 2.0  in Syria. Now we are edging closer to a hot war.
Self-defense has been a recognized legal right for thousands of years .
But when empires wish to go to war against a country, self-defense is seen as a criminal causus belli. For example, Turkey admits  that its fighter jet was in Syrian territory when it was shot down.
Indeed, the Turkish fighter jet was flying very low and very close to the Syrian shoreline :
“The plane disappeared and then reappeared in Syrian airspace, flying at 100 meters altitude and about 1-2kms (0.6-1.2 miles) from the Syrian coast,” Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told a Damascus news conference.
“We had to react immediately, even if the plane was Syrian we would have shot it down,” he said. “The Syrian response was an act of defense of our sovereignty carried out by anti-aircraft machinegun which has a maximum range of 2.5 km.”
And yet Turkey is calling  Syria the aggressor:
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Turkey condemned the “hostile act by the Syrian authorities against Turkey’s national security”, saying it posed “a serious threat to peace and security in the region”.
Specifically, the Turkish president :
Put the onus on Syria to explain why its army chose to shoot first, rather than try to establish radio contact, fire warning shots or even send up aircraft when the F4 crossed into Syrian territory.
However, the Turkish jet – a McDonnel Douglas F4 Phantom – had a top speed of 1,485 miles per hour .
If the Syrians spotted the jet one mile away, that means that they would have had 2.5 seconds to react (1,425 mph ÷ 60 minutes in an hour ÷ 60 seconds in a minute equals .4 miles per second ; so it would take 2.5 seconds to travel 1 mile).
2.5 seconds is not long enough to try to establish radio contact, fire warning shots or send up aircraft. Therefore, Syria had only 2 choices: shoot the jet down, or let it fly over Syrian land.
This is allegedly footage shot with an iPhone of the actual shootdown of the Turkish jet:
Here is a still from that video, purportedly showing the jet crashing into the ocean:
Postscript: Turkey now claims that Syria has shot at a second plane, which was “only” in Syrian airspace for 5 minutes .
Note: The Turkish jet might not have been flying at its top speed. Even so, it is likely that Syria had no time to take other action.