Assad reportedly told Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper in an interview published today:
We learned that it (the plane) belonged to Turkey after shooting it down. I say 100 percent 'if only we had not shot it down'.
We will not allow (the tensions) to turn into open combat between the two countries, which would harm them both.
The plane was using a corridor which Israeli planes have used three times before. Soldiers shot it down because we did not see it on our radar and because information was not given.
Of course I might have been happy if this had been an Israeli plane.
More top news
Former shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn led calls by a series of senior Labour MPs urging colleagues to 'win' back the party.
A team of detectives and specialists is set to begin a painstaking excavation of the area where Ben is thought to have gone missing in 1991.
The foreign secretary's suggestion last week's bombing of an aid convoy might constitute a war crime prompted an angry response from Moscow.