Bodies of downed jet pilots spotted in sea
ANKARA / MOSCOW
Elsewhere, a Russian source said the Turkish jet was acting “provocatively.” DHA photo
The bodies of two Turkish pilots who went missing when their warplane was downed by Syria on June 22 have been spotted at the bottom of the eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish army announced yesterday.
“The bodies [of Capt. Gökhan Ertan and Maj. Lt. Hasan Hüseyin Aksoy] have been discovered on the
seabed, and work is underway to bring them to the surface,” the Chief of General Staff said.
Autopsies and technical analysis of the debris of the jet would shed additional light on whether the jet
was downed by a laser-guided missile, as Turkey says, or by an antiaircraft weapon, as Syria claims. (Bodies of two Turkish pilots found, army says)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, meanwhile, has called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a
“liar" over his expressions of regret for the incident and his insistence that Damascus did not know the jet was Turkish when it was downed. (Turkish FM calls al-Assad as a ‘liar’)
The minister also criticized al-Assad for saying the plane was using an entry route favored by Israel,
noting that if that were true, Syria would have shot down countless Israeli jets.
Al-Assad, meanwhile, has called on Ankara to stop meddling in Syria’s affairs. “Turkey’s desire to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs has put it in a position which unfortunately makes it a party to all the bloody activities” in Syria, he said. “Turkey has supplied all manner of logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”
Elsewhere, a Russian source said the Turkish jet was acting “provocatively.” “Otherwise how would
you explain the fact that the fighter jet flew two, albeit short, sorties into Syrian airspace?” a source told Interfax news agency July 3, adding that the pilots’ goal was to test Syrian air defense systems. “The crew … literally asked for the Syrian air defenses’ fire.” (Report: Russia says plane provoked Syria)
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has also called on the Turkish government to press the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia to reveal all information
they have about the incident. (CHP leader calls on government to press world)