Western military leaders will meet Tuesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to huddle with Turkey over the downing of one of its military jets by Syria.
The "consultations" are being held at Turkey's request under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's founding charter.
"Under Article 4, any ally can request consultations whenever, in the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in an email to CNN.
During the consultations, there is a chance Turkey will demand a collective military response.
The notion comes from Article 5 of NATO's founding Washington Treaty, which states that should a member nation -- such as Turkey -- be attacked, each member will assist the party under attack by taking "such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."
Article 5 has been invoked just once since NATO's founding: the military response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
If NATO was looking for a fight, this would be a good opportunity to invoke Article 5, but there is no appetite for a military conflict with Syria at the moment, several NATO diplomats told CNN's Elise Labott on Sunday.
There are many factors that weigh against a military response. First and foremost, the North Atlantic Council has to agree to it. Also, even if agreed, each member can contribute as they see fit.
"This is an individual obligation on each Ally and each Ally is responsible for determining what it deems necessary in these particular circumstances," according to a description of the charter posted on the NATO website.
The United States and many other countries have been vocally opposed to military intervention in Syria and are unlikely to encourage Turkey to press the issue. After Syrian troops shelled refugees on the Turkish side of the border earlier this year, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made clear that the bar was high for Turkey to claim the need for a collective self-defense.
As NATO partners prepared to meet, Syria raised the stakes Monday in a war of words over the incident.
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the plane was shot down Friday in Syrian airspace, disputing Turkey's claim that it was downed over international waters after briefly straying into Syrian airspace by mistake.
"What happened was a violation of Syrian airspace. Even Turkey says Syrian sovereignty was violated. Regardless of whether it was a training mission, a reconnaissance mission, it was a violation," Makdissi said.
He insisted that Syria was the wronged party, not Turkey.
Also Monday, a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry told CNN that Syria fired Friday on a second Turkish plane that was part of a search-and-rescue mission sent in after the jet was shot down. The plane, which entered Syrian airspace in search of the jet, was not hit, said Selcuk Unal.
"There was no injury, nobody was harmed. But that plane immediately returned to Turkish airspace. And through military diplomatic channels we informed them: 'What's going on?' " Unal said.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Sunday that it considered the shooting to be a hostile act. Turkey delivered the message in a diplomatic note to the Syrian consulate in Istanbul, Unal told CNN.
In addition to NATO, Turkey also submitted a letter about the incident to the U.N. Security Council. The country made no request for action, but outlined its version of events.
"This attack at the international airspace, causing possible loss of two Turkish pilots, is a hostile act by the Syrian authorities against Turkey's national security. Thus, we strongly condemn it," read the letter, dated Sunday.
It identified the downed plane as a Turkish RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft. It was flying alone, without arms, in international airspace when it was shot down, the letter read.
Turkish search-and-rescue teams found the wreckage of the jet in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday, about 1,300 meters (4,260 feet) underwater, Foreign Ministry spokesman Unal said.
They have not reached the wreck yet, he added. There was no word about survivors from the two-man crew.
Western leaders roundly condemned the downing of the jet ahead of the meeting Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday that she had spoken with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about the incident.
"We will work with Turkey and other partners to hold the Assad regime accountable," Clinton said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. "Turkey has been a leader in the international community's effort to address the Syrian regime's violence against its own people."
British Foreign Minister William Hague on Sunday called the incident "outrageous" and said he condemned it "wholeheartedly."
"The Assad regime should not make the mistake of believing that it can act with impunity," Hague said. "It will be held to account for its behavior."
The plane was participating in a test of Turkey's national radar system, Davutoglu said.
The incident could spark an international crisis. Relations between the two neighbors have already deteriorated amid the bloody uprising against al-Assad's regime.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has repeatedly called on al-Assad to step down, and Turkey has withdrawn its diplomats from Damascus.
Davutoglu pointedly said Sunday that Turkey stands with "the Syrian people."
"This tension is not between Turkey and the Syrian people. There is a regime in Syria which oppresses its people," he said.
More than 30,000 Syrian refugees have spilled onto Turkish soil, and Turkey is hosting a number of Syrian opposition groups.