Turkish authorities have detained a Syrian air force pilot whose plane crashed on Turkish territory last month on charges of espionage and violating border security, Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

Syrian national Mehmet Sufhan, 56-year-old pilot, was found alive after ejecting safely when the aircraft was allegedly shot by the opposition group as it took off from Lattakia to strike Idlib on March 4.

The judicial source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said the pilot was detained on charges of espionage and violating border security.

The pilot was found in Hatay province of southeastern Turkey after the local government had received a report of plane crash near the village of Yaylacik in central Antakya, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the Syrian border.

Rushed to Hatay State Hospital, the pilot had suffered a broken backbone as well as face and leg injuries, but had not been in a critical condition.

Syrian opposition Ahrar al-Sham announced last month that it shot down the Syrian government’s aircraft in Northern Idlib. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh