ANKARA, Turkey A plane intercepted by Turkish fighter jets on its way from Moscow to Damascus was carrying equipment and ammunition destined for the Syrian Defense Ministry, Turkey’s prime minister said Thursday.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments follow a fierce denial by Syria that anything illegal had been aboard the Airbus A320 that was forced by Turkey to land in Ankara late Wednesday. Syria, whose relations with neighboring Turkey have plummeted over the Syrian war, branded it an act of piracy.
Earlier in the day, Turkish officials had rejected claims by Syria’s ally Russia that Turkey had endangered the lives of Russian citizens on board the aircraft.
“These were equipment and ammunitions that were being sent from a Russian agency ... to the Syrian Defense Ministry,” Erdogan said in Ankara.
“Their examination is continuing and the necessary [action] will follow,” he added.
Read the full details in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.