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 news 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.
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 Russia 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.
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