Turkey to allow family of Syrian pilot who crashed to visit him: PM Yıldırım
ISTANBUL – Reuters
AA photoTurkey will allow the family of a Syrian air force pilot whose warplane crashed on Turkish territory to visit him at the hospital where he is being treated, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told private broadcaster A Haber on March 6.
“This is a humanitarian issue. Permission will be granted [for the visit],” Yıldırım said, adding that a commission would be set up to investigate the cause of the crash.
The 56-year-old pilot bailed out of his Mig-23 warplane as it crashed in the Hatay region and was found by a Turkish rescue team. In his initial testimony, he said his aircraft was shot down on its way to strike rural areas near Idlib in northern Syria.
Turkey has been one of the leading critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and supports rebels fighting him in the country’s six-year-old war. It currently has armed forces involved in operations along the Syrian side of the frontier.
Meanwhile, Turkey has formed a delegation to investigate the cause of the plane’s crash. Ankara has informed Moscow that Russian experts are invited to join the delegation.
The delegation will investigate whether the plane crashed after being shot or due to bad weather conditions.