Turkish Lawyers Bring Suit against Syrian Pilot in Turkish Hospital

Turkish lawyers file lawsuits against a Syrian regime pilot captured in Turkey, on charges of committing crimes against Syrian civilians

The Turkish authorities allowed the pilot of a regime jet that fell in Hatay in southern Turkey on Saturday, to contact his family from where he is receiving treatment in a government hospital in Hatay province.

During the communication, the pilot, 56 year-old Colonel Mohamed Safwan, informed his family that he was in good health and asked them not to worry about his condition.

On Monday, Safwan underwent successful surgery because of a fracture in his spine. His condition is stable and he continues to receive care.

A group of Turkish lawyers filed a lawsuit against Safwan, to have him arrested, put on trial with the charge of carrying out crimes against civilians and prevent his extradition to the Assad regime.

In a statement published by the group on its Twitter account, the Turkish lawyer and rights activist Gulden Sonmez said that they had filed a lawsuit against Safwan in the justice palace in the Caglayan area of Istanbul.

The statement said that the petition filed by the Turkish lawyers to the justice palace included the names and information of Syrian civilians, including women and children, who were killed during the bombardment by the regime forces of various areas in Syria, especially in the northern Aleppo province.

The statement added that the pilot Safwan was one of the people who participated in the bombardment of Syrian civilians and therefore had committed the crimes specified in the petition. It called for an investigation into this matter and opening a general suit to hold him to account before justice.

Last Sunday, the Turkish authorities found the pilot after he had bailed from the jet before it crashed in the Antakya countryside in the Hatay province of the country’s south.

In his testimony to the relevant authorities, Safwan said that he had taken off with his plane from the Lattakia province in western Syrian to bomb locations in Idleb province, but that his plane had been damaged during the mission and crashed in Turkish territory.

The Turkish Anadolu agency reported that the pilot had walked 500 meters in a wooded area after jumping from the parachute.

It should be noted that the regime announced on Saturday that it had lost communications with a MiG-21 pilot, according to a report on the regime news agency SANA, claiming that the military pilot had been carrying out a reconnaissance mission near the Turkish border.

Before this, the armed Syrian opposition had said that it had brought down a regime warplane in the Idleb countryside on the border with Turkey in northwestern Syria.

Ahmed Qarah Ali, spokesman for the Ahrar al-Sham opposition group, said: “The regime pilot was flying at low altitude when we struck it with 23-mm caliber anti-aircraft weapons in the Idleb countryside.”

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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