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Syria says plane crash pilot freed by Turkey

AFP  |  Damascus 

Turkey has handed over to Syrian authorities a pilot who was arrested by Ankara after his aircraft crashed near the border of the two neighbouring countries, official media said today.

Syrian agency SANA said the 56-year-old pilot -- who managed to bail out of his aircraft before it went down in Turkey in March -- was released by Turkish authorities yesterday.

Turkey's Dogan agency said a ordered his release pending a trial for "espionage" and "violating the frontier" and that he had been transferred yesterday to a centre for migrants.

SANA identified the pilot as Mohammed Sufan and said "he has been handed over to the competent (Syrian) authorities".

The announcement of his release comes amid a warming of ties between Turkey, which backs Syrian opposition fighters, and which supports President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Today, Turkey said it had deployed dozens of soldiers in the Syrian northwestern province of Idlib to establish "observation posts".

Idlib is one of four so-called "de-escalation" zones under a deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran in May, as part of a major push to still fighting in war-torn Syria.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 13 2017. 22:57 IST