News / Europe

    Turkey Defends Syrian Plane Interception

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev seen during a press conference in Ankara, October 11, 2012.
    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev seen during a press conference in Ankara, October 11, 2012.
    VOA News
    Turkey is defending its decision to intercept a Syrian-bound plane that it says was carrying military equipment and ammunition destined for Syria's government.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Syrian-bound passenger jet, travelling from Moscow to Damascus earlier this week, was carrying illicit cargo provided by a Russian supplier.  Erdogan did not elaborate on where Turkey received the intelligence or who in Russia had provided the materials.

    Syrian officials have denied the plane was carrying any military cargo. Russia, a top ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, demanded an explanation from Turkey, saying its actions threatened the lives and safety of the passengers on board. 

    The Syrian Air flight was intercepted by fighter jets late Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara. The plane was allowed to complete its trip to Syria early Thursday without the cargo.

    The incident has increased tensions between Turkey and Syria who in recent weeks have exchanged artillery fire across their shared border.

    Meanwhile inside Syria, activists say six rebels were killed in an attack on a military checkpoint in Dera'a province that left 14 soldiers dead. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights adds that air bombardments and heavy clashes are taking place in Idlib, Deir Izzour and Aleppo provinces.

    Syria's President Assad has been fighting a 19-month uprising against his rule that has killed tens of thousands of people.

    The observatory says 260 Syrians were killed in fighting Thursday including 86 civilians, 60 rebel fighters, 13 defected soldiers, and 92 regime forces.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    October 13, 2012 11:39 AM
    Why is it that ONLY PRO TURKEY POSTS make it onto this comment BOARD? What a joke.... and you call this FREE SPEECH... "Voice of America" REALLY!!!

    by: Sasboy from: Atlanta
    October 12, 2012 8:45 PM
    If the Syrian plane was carrying arms Turkey was justified in ordering it to land while flying over its airspace. The Turkish government cannot turn a blind eye to Syria bringing in munitions over its territory after Syrian and more recently Turkish civilians lost their lives as a result of Mr Assad's brutality.

    by: Lex from: Chicago
    October 12, 2012 5:38 PM
    Turkey most definitely had a right to intercept that flight. God has nothing to do with it.

    by: Kurdish Nation from: Turkey
    October 12, 2012 1:37 PM
    "peace flotilla..." ??? Erdogan, you fool... these are the Lord's People... coming back to the land of the Lord after 2000 years in exile... Biblical prophecy that even a Muslim should know... and for Turkey to make friends with the enemies of the People of the Lord... I did not know how or where but i just knew it will destroy the Turk.

    "I will curse those who hate you..." so saith the Lord Jesus

    by: Anonymous
    October 12, 2012 10:38 AM
    FBI should trace this guy called himself Ron Cee he might be either Iranian or Syrian, 19 months Syrian people against Assad is enough, Assad must know that when people don't like you, it's time to stepdown, you must learn from Libya

    by: Ace No Fly Zone
    October 12, 2012 10:31 AM
    Why the secrecy? what did the cargo exactly consist of and what is the monetary value. I guess the next shipment will be a naval flotilla with submarine protection, to prevent another air interception. The UN is remarkably "silent".

    by: Ron Cee from: USA
    October 12, 2012 9:48 AM
    Erdogan is going to keep fooling around and there's not going to be any Turkey left for the Thanksgiving dinner table! :-D
    In Response

    by: Tom from: Australia
    October 13, 2012 10:19 AM
    I think that Shirou Zhiwu is correct, there will be yet another war soon, America is itching to go into Syria, the CIA's carefully orchestrated "uprising" having failed to win enough "hearts and minds"... feeding the Turks misleading "intelligence" and coming to their rescue through the NATO treaty was a backdoor to war so close to election. It evidently failed and the war drums will hopefully quiet down until after the election (or longer? heres hoping). So much blood spilled just to suck the last remaining drops from the earth like a desperate addict... you need to go cold turkey america, on oil and debt... though you must know this by now
    In Response

    by: Shirou Zhiwu from: Lipiskiy
    October 12, 2012 10:16 AM
    There will be war by Thanksgiving, just not before November 7. Can't have a Peacemaker president dragging the country into war just before the election.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora