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.
"There is illegal cargo on the plane that should have been reported" in line with civil aviation regulations, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.
"There are elements on board that can be considered objectionable," he added, without elaborating.
The plane was allowed to leave Ankara at 2330 GMT, 9 hours after it was intercepted, with all of its 35 passengers on board, but its cargo has been seized, Anatolia said.