News / Middle East

Syria Admits Shooting Down Turkish Warplane

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,May 11, 2012.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,May 11, 2012.
VOA News
Syria says it has shot down a Turkish air force jet that had flown into Syrian airspace.

Syrian officials said the low-flying warplane was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea Friday.

Turkish political and military leaders held a two-hour security meeting in Ankara to discuss the incident.

After the meeting, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office said Turkey will decide on how to respond to the incident but did not elaborate.

"We have no word on the pilots, but Turkish helicopters as well as four assault boats are searching for the pilots along with Syrian ships. We will see the outcome of this joint search operation," said Erdogan.

Syrian forces are helping the Turks search for the two missing Turkish pilots.

Turkey has joined nations such as the U.S. in saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should step down because of the uprising in his country.

Meanwhile, U.N. Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan told reporters in Geneva Friday that "countries of influence" need to persuade both sides in Syria to "stop the killing and start the talking."  He said it is time for countries to "raise the level of pressure" on both Syria's government and the opposition to end violence in the country.

Mr. Annan said Iran should be "part of the solution" for bringing peace to Syria.  Russia has pushed for Iran's involvement in resolving the conflict, while the U.S. has said Iran should not be involved.

The U.N. special envoy's comments came after Syrian activists said 26 men reported to be pro-government "shabiha" militia fighters were killed in an ambush in the northern Aleppo province.

Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told VOA on Friday that he received a video showing the bloodied bodies of the men piled on the side of a road.

"Over 26 people following the Syrian regime were killed west of Aleppo. This morning the people there said these people are from shabiha. We cannot confirm this, but we have received a video with over 26 bodies," said Abdelrahman.

In an apparent reference to the same incident, Syrian state media reported Friday that at least 25 people were killed by "armed terrorists" in the same region outside Aleppo.

The Observatory said it could not confirm whether the victims were civilians, as Syrian state media reported, or shabiha militants, who have been blamed for a series of deadly attacks on civilians in recent months.

The group also reported fresh clashes Friday between government troops and rebels in the flashpoint city of Homs, where hundreds of civilians are believed to be trapped and unable to find shelter.

The International Committee of the Red Cross aborted its attempt to evacuate civilians from Homs Thursday after encountering close gunfire.  The ICRC said it will attempt to go back to the area as soon as conditions permit.

The United Nations says up to 1.5 million Syrians are now in need of humanitarian assistance as it warns of a deteriorating situation in Syria. The figure reported by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is up from an earlier estimate of 1 million.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 23, 2012 12:00 PM
You know it is one thing for two countries to be at war. But it is a disgusting form of mass murder going to war with your military against your own civillians. Genocide in the purest forms. I pray Assad is captured by the families of those he killed, that would make my day.

by: Anonymous
June 23, 2012 8:46 AM
If the warplane was shot down in Syria, Turkey should say sorry to Syria.

by: Xira from: Austin
June 22, 2012 2:38 PM
Too damn bad for them.

China still says 'no'.

by: Anonymous
June 22, 2012 10:23 AM
I can see these rebels are supported by US and western countries according to this story, these people may also be civilians but the media tries to cover it

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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