Syrian fighter pilot tried for espionage returns
A Syrian fighter pilot who was detained after crashing in southern Turkey in March has returned to Syria after a Turkish court released him Friday, Syrian TV reported. The pilot, Mehmet Sufhan, faced trial in Turkey charged with espionage and violating border security after he crashed in the border province of Hatay. Turkish media said Friday that a criminal court in Hatay had released him, but that legal proceedings were continuing. Several hours later Syrian TV reported that Sufhan was back in Syria, saying his return was the result of “vigorous attempts and intensive efforts.” It was not immediately clear whether Sufhan would come back to Turkey for his trial, which was set for Oct. 25, according to Sufhan’s attorney, Anil Cevahir Can. “Sufhan’s release will hopefully help rebuild bridges of friendship between Syria and Turkey,” Can added.