The Syrian passenger plane Turkey intercepted en route from Moscow to Damascus did not contain any arms or military equipment on board, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday, citing an arms exporting source.
"Neither weapons nor any systems or assembly parts for military equipment were or could have been on board the passenger plane," the unidentified high-ranking source from one of Russia's arms exporting agencies told Interfax.
"If there were a need to deliver military equipment or armaments to Syria, it would be done in a routine way rather than illegally, let alone by using a passenger plane," the source was quoted as saying.
Turkey on Wednesday stopped a Syria-bound passenger plane with 35 people on board, including 17 Russian nationals, on the suspicion that its cargo contained weapons and ammunition. Full Story
Russia asks Turkey to explain about grounded jet
The Russian embassy in Ankara has demanded explanations from the Turkish Foreign Ministry about Wednesday's grounding of a Moscow-Damascus passenger plane, and access to Russian nationals who may be on board the jet.
A source at the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti that “according to preliminary information”, there are 17 Russian citizens on board the A-320 plane, including several children.
“Russian consular workers are at the airport to meet the Russian passengers and ensure their security,” the diplomat said.
Syrian jet allowed by Turkish authorities to fly on but the cargo was confiscated
Turkish officials have allowed a Syrian passenger jet which had earlier been forced to land in Ankara, to resume flight, but have confiscated its cargo.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced the decision in televised comments on Wednesday.
Local media earlier spoke about spare parts for military radio stations allegedly found on the board the Syrian jet.
Turkish F-16s forced down the Airbus A320, which was flying from Moscow to Damascus with 35 passengers on board, over suspicions it has prohibited cargo on board.
Syrian passenger plane forced to land at Turkey's Ankara airport
In Turkey, a Syrian passenger plane has been forced to land at Ankara airport. Turkish F-16s forced down the Airbus A320, which was flying from Moscow to Damascus, over suspicions it has weapons on board.
The plane, which took off from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport with 35 passengers on board, landed in Ankara at 5:15 p.m. local time, CNN-Turk reported.
The Turkish air force has forced to land the plane which is operated by SyrianAir arlines, Airbus-320.
Turkish foreign minister says received intelligence that Syrian plane flying from Moscow to Syria was carrying "non-cilivian" cargo.
A ministry spokesman told journalists that the plane was "being checked" and that the foreign minister would issue a statement soon.
The check over suspicious cargo was performed as there was information that the plane had military communications systems cargo on board that does not meet the requirements of civil aviation, Foreign Minister of Turkey Davutoglu told TGRT television in Athens, where he is on an official visit.
Head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry claimed: “I don't think these events will somehow affect the Russian-Turkish relations”.