ANKARA, Turkey - A Turkish newspaper says Syrian President Bashar Assad, speaking in an exclusive interview, has regretted the shooting down of a Turkish jet by his forces.
Cumhuriyet newspaper on Tuesday published first remarks from an interview with Assad in Damascus on Sunday. The paper quoted Assad as saying: "I say 100 per cent, I wish we did not shoot it down."
Turkey says Syrian forces downed its jet in international airspace after it briefly strayed into Syrian airspace June 22. Assad insists the plane was inside Syrian airspace and flying in a corridor that had been used by Israeli planes three times in the past.
Turkey responded by deploying anti-aircraft missiles on the Syrian border, and has scrambled its jets several times after it said its border was approached by Syrian helicopters.