Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has tried to diffuse tension between Syria and Turkey by speaking of his regret about the incident that saw a Turkish jet shot down on June 22.

Speaking to a Turkish newspaper, Assad stated that the reasons for the attack on the F-4 Phantom aircraft was a misunderstanding, and that armed forces didn't realise it was Turkish. He then attempted to justify the hostile response by stating that the craft flew down the same air corridor Israeli planes had used three times in the past.

Turkey have responded to the incident by cutting military diplomatic ties with Syria and placing rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along the Turkey-Syria border.

Assad faces opposition both worldwide and within, as unrest continues in the country with rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army demanding he step down. UK foreign secretary William Hague has already called on Mr Assad to resign, stating that he found the continuing conflict in Syria 'deeply frustrating'.