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

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid