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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora