BEIRUT

Middle East

Report: Syrian plane carried military comms gear

A Syrian passenger plane which was forced to land sits at Esenboga airport in Ankara October 10, 2012. Turkey scrambled fighter planes to force a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to land in Ankara on Wednesday and banned Turkish civilian aircraft from flying in Syrian airspace, state-run TRT television said. REUTERS/Cem Oksuz/Anadolu Agency (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS TRANSPORT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IM

ANKARA, Turkey: State-run television TRT reports that a Syrian plane intercepted by Turkish jets was carrying military communications equipment.

Turkish officials have yet to specify what was aboard the Syrian Air A320 from Moscow that was forced to land in Ankara on Wednesday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the cargo contained "elements ... that are not legitimate in civilian flights."

Russia's Itar-TASS news agency quoted an official at the Russian embassy in Ankara saying that the cargo "was not of Russian origin."

The plane's 37 passengers and crew were allowed to continue to Damascus after several hours without the cargo.

Russia's embassy in Ankara protested the incident and asked Turkey for an explanation.

 

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