Ankara, Jul 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti): The Turkish military has backed down from its previous claim that its fighter jet was downed last month by Syrian forces.
"The actual cause of the incident will be established after the plane wreckage is raised from the seabed," the General Staff of the armed forces said in a statement.
"No traces of explosives or flammable products were found on the debris recovered from the sea," it said.
According to media reports, the F-4 Phantom probably crashed due to human error after the pilots failed to perform an evasive manoeuvre to avoid the Syrian missile.
Syria insists it engaged the F-4 Phantom "according to the laws that govern such situations" after it strayed into its airspace. Turkey says the plane was in international airspace.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoebi has said his country's forces may have mistaken the Turkish jet for an Israeli one.