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October 23, 2021
WORLD

Assad accuses Turkey of contributing to bloodshed in Syria

The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet quoted Assad as saying Turkey gave logistical support and had a desire to interfere in Syria’s internal affairs.In the remarks published Wednesday, Assad also accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of pursuing a sectarian agenda.  Both Turkey and Syria are majority Sunni-Muslim countries, but Assad and much of his ruling party are from the minority Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shi’ite Islam.The newspaper on Tuesday published the first part of its interview with Assad, in which he said he regrets that his force shot down a Turkish military jet last month.  He insisted the plane was flying in Syrian airspace that had been used by Israeli planes three times.Turkey says the jet entered Syrian airspace by mistake and had flown back to international airspace before Syria shot it down on June 22.The Syrian government is practising a widespread policy of state-sanctioned torture, according to a report from Human Rights Watch published on Tuesday. The organisation says it has interviewed more than 200 former detainees who suffered in an “archipelago of torture centres”. It details horrific torture methods, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. The report says the regime’s actions amount to a crime against humanity.Human Rights Watch wants the regime to be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC), but correspondents say any such move is likely to be blocked by Russia.

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