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.

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Comment Sorting
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.

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