A Syrian official suggested on Wednesday that Syria might have shot down a Turkish jet last week because it was believed to be an Israeli jet.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Al Zubi was speaking with Turkish television channel A Haber when he made the statement. As you know, there is a country called Israel there, and as you know, this Zionist country's planes are very similar and because they both are from the same factory from the U.S. Maybe Syria thought it was an Israeli plane, said Al Zubi, according to CNN.

He went on to say that he does not want Syria's relations with Turkey to deteriorate.

The two countries, formerly economic partners and allies, have drifted apart over the last several months following Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's brutal crackdown on rebels who seek to overthrow his regime. At least 10,000 have died over the past 17 months of turmoil.

Syria shot down a Turkish jet on Friday, after it apparently veered momentarily into Syrian airspace. Its two crew members are still missing. The incident marked a turning point for Turkey, which has stepped up its rhetoric against Syria in recent days.

Al Zubi's theory about a possible misidentification of Turkey's aircraft is so far not corroborated by other sources, but is in line with Syria's generally apologetic tone regarding the incident. Syria is eager to avoid Turkish hostility, which could increase the threat of NATO intervention.