ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Two Turkish pilots thought to have perished when their jet
was shot down by Damascus on June 22 were
actually rescued, interrogated and murdered by Syrian intelligence services,
secret documents released tonight by Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news
channel purport to show.
“Two Turkish pilots were captured by the Syrian Air Force
Intelligence after their jet was shot down in coordination with the Russian naval base in
[the Syrian city of] Tartus,” according to a document released by Al-Arabiya
that was allegedly sent directly from President Bashar al-Assad’s office to
Brig. Hassan Abdel Rahman, the chief of Syria’s Special Operations Unit.
The document reportedly ordered the concerned parties to
treat the two pilots, Air Force Cpt. Gökhan Ertan and Air Force Lt. Hasan
Hüseyin Aksoy, according to the protocol of war prisoners, while also
requesting that both men be investigated about Turkey’s
role in supporting the Free Syrian Army, the main group of opposition militants
fighting to overthrow Syria’s
The documents suggest the possibility of transferring Ertan
and Aksoy into the custody of Syrian ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, but a
subsequent file expressed the need to “eliminate” the two pilots. “Based on
information and guidance from the Russian leadership, comes a need to eliminate
the two Turkish pilots detained by the Special Operations Unit in a natural way,
and their bodies need to be returned to the crash site in international
waters,” the document said.
The documents, which have not been independently verified,
were obtained with the assistance of members of the Syrian opposition, who
refused to explain how they accessed the files.
has long said Syria shot the
pilots’ plane down in international waters, while Syria has claimed it shot the plane
down in its territorial waters with an anti-aircraft gun.
There was no immediate comment from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
To read the full story, click on http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/09/29/240805.html