News / Middle East

Assad Reportedly Regrets Syria Downing of Turkish Jet

VOA News
A Turkish newspaper has quoted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad saying he regrets that his forces shot down a Turkish military jet last month.

The Cumhuriyet  newspaper published comments from Mr. Assad Tuesday in which the leader insisted the jet was flying in Syrian airspace that had been used by Israeli planes three times.

Turkey says the jet entered by mistake and had flown back to international airspace before Syria shot it down on June 22.  The paper quoted Mr. Assad saying he would not hesitate to apologize for the attack if the Turkish account were true.

Some Turks say they want more than Assad's apology.

"I don't accept this, they shot the plane down deliberately. Our government must take serious precautions. They must not get away with this. With the help of God, we will retaliate,'' said Istanbul resident Atilla Bayram.

Turkey has increased its defenses along the border with Syria, a move Cumhuriyet  quoted Mr. Assad as saying his country will not match.

Also Tuesday, Human Rights Watch issued a new report accusing the Syrian government of torturing and abusing detainees at 27 facilities across the country.

The group's UK director David Mepham says they conducted more than 200 interviews with victims.

"The kinds of torture that we are talking about are really appalling types of abuse. We've had people put in stress positions, we've had people who have been electrocuted, we've had people burned with acid, we've had people subject to sexual abuse -- terrible crimes have been committed," Mepham said.

  • Black smoke from shelling is seen near Ali bin Abi Taleb mosque in Talbiseh, Homs, Syria, July 2, 2012. (AP/Ugarit News)
  • A general view of the destruction caused during clashes between Syrian rebel fighters and government forces, in Al Qusour neighborhood, Homs, Syria, July 2, 2012.
  • A damaged car is parked near buildings destroyed during clashes between Syrian rebel fighters and government forces, in Al Qusour neighborhood, Homs, Syria, July 2, 2012.
  • Rebel fighters take position at the frontline as they fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Hamidiyeh, Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.
  • Rebel fighters pose with their weapons in Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.
  • A rebel fighter rests next to weapons in a house in Hamidiyeh, Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.
  • The entrance of a cathedral is seen after fighting between Syrian rebel fighters and President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Hamidiyeh, Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.
  • A resident walks on a damaged street in Hamidiyeh, Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.
  • A man looks at the engine of a Syrian rebel vehicle in a street after fighting between Syrian rebel fighters and President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Hamidiyeh, Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.
  • A cat stands next to a damaged telephone booth in Hamidiyeh, Homs, Syria, July 1, 2012.

The report lists torture sites in the capital, Damascus, as well as in Homs, Idlib, Aleppo, Daraa and Latakia.

Human Rights Watch says the ill-treatment amounts to crimes against humanity.  It urged the United Nations Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

The head of the U.N. mission in Syria suspended operations on June 16 due to safety risks to the 300 observers there.  The U.N. said attackers targeted the observer team several times with gunfire and bombs.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement late Monday that the Syrian people and the region "cannot afford more atrocities, suffering and chaos."  He also welcomed an international plan for a transitional government in Syria and said he hoped an opposition conference in Cairo will contribute to creating a "meaningful transition."

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mervin
July 04, 2012 2:50 AM
Every nation has got a right to protect its airspace,waterspace and Syria has to protect its own too this time than ever before.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 03, 2012 9:25 AM
Thought Assad was brave and sincere, why must he bring Israel into this? Thought Assad was fighting to maintain Middle East peace, why does he seem to exclude Israel now? Thought Assad was sane, why has he suddenly began to identify with the lines of the mad Arab Spring whose only agenda is the expansion of arab hatred of Israel? You shot down plane that illegally entered your airspace and the world says you're wrong, go ahead and apologize, why say you thought it was Israel's jet? Turkey will now back down; Egypt will jump into negotiation, and the Arab League will call for truce. Can someone see what the crazy idea of the Arab Spring is all about?

In Response

by: susan from: Germany
July 03, 2012 10:32 AM
Relax Godwin... relax... we know!!! the whole world knows... remember Godwin - "wheels within wheels..."


by: Sulemania from: Egypt
July 03, 2012 7:03 AM
CNN reports: "Global disgust over the Syrian regime's purported torture of citizens reached a pinnacle..." hey what about the Proven Torture chambers and rape rooms in Hamas controlled Gaza...??? hmmm??? what about mass executions of "collaborators" - and - "why is it important" you may ask... well Honey, Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood... that is what they have in store for us (Egyptians) thank you very much USA

In Response

by: hassan from: France
July 03, 2012 10:40 AM
Dear Ms Sulemania, you have no idea how right you are... but you soon will.... Hamas is the Islamic Brotherhood... if you want to predict the future of Egypt... look to Hamas... enjoy the view


by: beancube from: US
July 03, 2012 5:43 AM
Regret? Try send another jet over there and see who would regret? His loyalists will surely use the opportunity to frame him a brutal image as much as they can.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid