Friday 24 November 2017

Turkey grounds another plane in row over Syria arms

Turkey forced down a Syrian airliner travelling from Moscow last Wednesday and said it was carrying Russian munitions destined for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military
Turkey forced down a Syrian airliner travelling from Moscow last Wednesday and said it was carrying Russian munitions destined for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military

TURKEY has grounded and searched an Armenian plane flying to the Syrian city of Aleppo, as Ankara steps up efforts to prevent its air space being used to supply the Syrian military.

Air traffic control in Turkey had previously been informed the plane, which was forced to land in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum, would be carrying humanitarian aid and Armenian officials knew it would be searched.

The plane would be allowed to continue on its journey if nothing else was found, a Turkish foreign ministry official said.

Turkey forced down a Syrian airliner travelling from Moscow last Wednesday and said it was carrying Russian munitions destined for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military, infuriating Moscow and Damascus.

Russia has said there were no weapons on the plane and that it was carrying a legal cargo of radar. But it moved to cool friction with Ankara - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the incident would not hurt "solid" relations.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said over the weekend Turkish air space had been closed to Syrian planes. Syria has also banned Turkish planes from flying over its territory.

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