Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Assad Rues That Downed Plane Wasn’t Israeli

Syrian president tries to patch up rift with Turkey by his usual method

Print Email
A destroyed tank in Aleppo, Syria.(LO/AFP/GettyImages)

Some, including myself, have in the past accused Syria’s President Bashar Assad of employing anti-Israel rhetoric in order to distract from his own problems. For example, during Nakba Day 2011, in an unprecedented move he permitted encouraged Syrian Palestinians to risk life and limb trying to storm Israel’s borders, which led to more than a dozen deaths, in order to take attention off a then-nascent rebellion.

Assad’s latest problem, apart generally from a nationwide insurrection that will probably leave him powerless if not dead within a year, is that Syria downed a Turkish aircraft, leading its more powerful neighbor to the west to militarize their border. Today Assad apologized, expressed regret, and offered a reasonable explanation: they thought it was Israeli! “The plane used the corridor used by the Israeli planes three times in the past,” he told an opposition Turkish newspaper. “We learned it was Turkish after we shot it down.”

In case the implication wasn’t clear enough, according to Arutz Sheva, he also said, “I might have been happy if this had been an Israeli plane.”

Well, but look, he “might” have been unhappy too, so there’s that.

Syria’s Assad Expresses Regret for Shooting of Turkish Warplane [NYT]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Assad Rues That Downed Plane Wasn’t Israeli

Syrian president tries to patch up rift with Turkey by his usual method

More on Tablet:

Obama: Denying Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish Homeland is Anti-Semitic

By Yair Rosenberg — The president draws a line in the sand in his latest interview