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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid