Syria apologizes for shooting down Turkish warplane

Published June 22nd, 2012 - 05:05 GMT

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Syria had apologized to Turkey after shooting down on Friday of a Turkish fighter plane off its coast. Recep Erdogan "said an apology had arrived from Syria in connection with this in a very serious event. Syria had expressed its deep sadness and conveyed it was a mistake," a report quoted Erdogan as saying.

Meanwhile, Syrian troops Friday fired on anti-regime demonstrators throughout the country, killing at least nine in the Aleppo region, while 26 supporters of President Bashar al-Assad died in an ambush in this province. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated, particularly in the restive province of Idleb (northwest).

In the Darat Ezzat region near Aleppo, at least 25 people were shot dead and mutilated by "armed terrorist groups", according to state television, calling the act a "barbaric crime". According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), thedead were supporters of the Syrian regime who were killed in an ambush. "These are the shabbihas of the Assad regime," said one person filming a video at the scene, referring to the pro-regime militias accused of sowing terror in the country since the rebellion started.

Also in the Aleppo region, two members of the security forces were killed in a rebel attack. Nine civilians, including a child were also killed by gunfire in the region of Aleppo, the second largest city in the country, according to SOHR.

Eight other civilians, including two children, died in the violence, including one in Damascus as well as shootings in Deraa (south).

In Moscow, the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said he had heard from his Syrian counterpart that Damascus would be "much more" serious in its effort to implement Kofi Annan's plan to end the crisis. Faced with a worsening situation every day, the international envoy Kofi Annan and head of the UN observers mission in Syria, Robert Mood, expressed their doubts over the future of this mission whose term expires July 20.

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