Thu, October 11, 2012
World > Middle East

Turkey intercepts Syrian plane as tensions mount

2012-10-10 22:29:15 GMT2012-10-11 06:29:15(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

People gather atop the aircraft steps at a Syrian passenger plane that was forced by Turkish jets to land at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkey is set to let go a Syrian civilian plane loading with suspicious cargo, after forcing it to land in Ankara earlier on Wednesday, local media reported.

"Military materials" were detected during the investigation, a Turkish official told Xinhua. The plane, from Moscow to Damascus, was waiting for Turkish Foreign Ministry's approval to take off again.

There were "objectionable" materials aboard, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters during his visit to Athens.

"We keep the materials for examination and further operations," Davutoglu added.

The Syrian passenger plane was forced to land in the Turkish capital of Ankara earlier on Wednesday over intelligence of "non- civilian cargo," Davutoglu said earlier in a televised interview.

The Damascus-bound plane had given "lacking notification" or " misinformation" about its cargo, Davutoglu said a few hours after the plane was forced by two F-16 warplanes to land at Esenboga Airport in Ankara.

Turkey scrambled F-16 fighter jets after the Airbus A-320 type plane, which took off from Moscow, entered into Turkey's airspace, and forced it to land in Ankara, according to earlier report.

Turkey is determined to stop any transfer of weapons to Syrian government through its territory, Davutoglu noted.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has also instructed Turkish aviation companies to stay away from Syrian airspace and use other routes, the minister said, citing security threat in Syria.


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