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Mustafa Kibaroglu, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Okan University, said that by calling Tuesday’s emergency NATO meeting, Turkey was trying to show Syria that it has the full support of the alliance and the European Union.

But he dismissed the possibility NATO 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,” Mr. Kibaroglu said.

Syria has said that it was unaware that the F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber belonged to Turkey and that it was protecting its airspace against an unknown intruder. In the past, Israeli warplanes have penetrated Syrian airspace by flying over the Mediterranean coastline.

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the downing was an accident, caused by the “automatic response” of an officer commanding an anti-aircraft gun. The man saw a jet coming at him at high speed and low altitide and opened fire, Mr. Makdissi said.

Analysts said that although the latest incident will likely be contained, the conflict in Syria is now threatening to draw in other nations.

Syria’s apology will probably quell the immediate outrage,” said Barak Seener, a Middle East expert at the Royal United Services Institute, a British military think tank.

“But it’s increasingly clear that as the conflict escalates, there will be a spillover effect with regional consequences,” he said. “While NATO will not get involved yet, this illustrates that international actors will increasingly be sucked into the conflict.”

Still, there is a sense of war weariness in NATO, an aversion to any more involvement in the Middle East after last year’s conflict over Libya.

The alliance’s primary focus remains the costly war in Afghanistan, where the alliance still has about 130,000 troops, a decade after the ouster of the Taliban regime. Although NATO forces enjoy overwhelming superiority in numbers, firepower and mobility, the guerrillas are showing no sign of giving up.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeatedly said that the alliance would need a clear international mandate and regional support before it embarked on a mission in Syria.

Last year, the alliance launched airstrikes on Libyan government targets only after receiving a mandate from the U.N. Security Council, along with backing from the Arab League.

But in Syria’s case, the Arab League hasn’t been able to agree on the need for military intervention. Even Syria’s different opposition groups are riven by divisions over whether outside military intervention would help or hurt. Some in the Syrian opposition argue that it would reduce their country to rubble, leaving them nothing on which to build a new future once Mr. Assad was gone.

And Russia and China — both veto-wielding members of the Security Council — have consistently shielded Mr. Assad’s regime from international sanctions over its violent crackdown on protests. Russia also has continued to provide Syria with arms, despite Western calls for a halt in supplies.

Last week, President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Syrian crisis on the sidelines of a Group of 20 economic conference in Mexico.

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