Turkey confiscates cargo from Syrian passenger plane forced to land in Ankara

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Ankara: Turkey said it has confiscated illicit cargo from a Syrian passenger plane forced to land in Ankara, reportedly on suspicions that it was carrying weapons, as tensions run high between the neighbouring nations.

Turkey seized “objectionable cargo” aboard the plane which it intercepted en route from Moscow to Damascus on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after Anatolia news agency quoted officials as saying they suspected the aircraft was carrying arms.

 Turkey scrambled two jets to force the Syrian plane to land in Ankara on suspicions that its cargo contained weapons and ammunition.

“The Syrian Air Airbus A320 with more than 30 passengers and crew would be allowed to continue its journey to the Syrian capital without the cargo,” Davutoglu said.

Turkey will hold on to the cargo for further investigation, he added.

The warning briefly interrupted Turkish air traffic, with Turkish planes changing routes to avoid the Syrian skies.
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