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

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora