Complaints filed against pilot of crashed Syrian jet in Turkey
HATAYComplaints have been filed against the pilot of the Syrian military jet that crashed in the Yaylacık district of the southern province of Hatay near the Turkish-Syrian border.
The father of a child who lost his legs in a Syrian army airstrike in Idlib, as well as two lawyers from the Istanbul Bar, filed complaints against the 56-year-old pilot, Mehmet Sufhan, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on March 7.
According to the agency, Abdülbasit Alsattuf lost his legs in an airstrike by the Syrian army and was taken to the southern province of Hatay for treatment almost one month ago. His father, Muhammed Alsattuf, filed a complaint with a prosecutor against Sufhan after going to the Hatay Courthouse with his son.
“What sin did these children commit? They were wounded and are now disabled. We want the pilot to be tried and brought to court because they are committing a crime against humanity,” he told Anadolu Agency.
“Does the pilot want his own children to be like this? Does he want his children to go through what our children are going through? What guilt do we have?” he added.
The child, meanwhile, said his mother and one sibling died in the airstrike in which he lost his legs, while his other sibling got wounded.
“I want to ask him, ‘Why are you bombing us? You killed my mother and sibling, why? What was our sin?’” he said.
Lawyers Gülden Sönmez and Cihat Gökdemir also filed complaints to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against both the pilot and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
In their petition, they said Sufhan was “bombing civilians in Syria and the person who gave the bombardment order was al-Assad.”
“From both the statements of the pilot and the statements of the Syrian people who had to go through this unjust treatment, we have determined that the pilot committed a war crime and a crime against humanity,” Gökdemir told reporters in front of Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse on March 7, adding that the investigation into the plane that crashed in the province would be carried out in Hatay.
Sufhan, who is receiving treatment at hospital, has spoken on the phone with his family in Latakia and told them he is well.
The black box of his crashed jet has been found by a team that arrived in Hatay from Ankara and the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir. The team, including two Russian specialists, have been conducting investigations in three different areas of the crash site.
Gendarmerie teams took strict security measures during the search and the authorities said the wreckage of the plane would be removed in the coming days.