Syrian plane carried anti-missile radar parts: Russia

Last Updated: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 00:54

Ankara: A Syria-bound passenger aircraft, which was forced to land in Ankara, on a flight from Moscow was carrying Russian radar parts for Syrian missile defence systems but not weapons, a Russian newspaper report said.

Turkey has allowed the Syria-bound passenger aircraft to resume its course, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a TV channel.

As per an agency`s report, the plane was loaded with 12 boxes containing parts for radars used in the Syrian Army`s missile defence systems.

"There were no weapons on the plane," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

On Wednesday, Turkish F-16 fighter jets forced down the Airbus A320, flying from Moscow to Damascus, over suspicion that it has prohibited cargo on board.

The permission to resume it journey was issued following the five-hour inspection of the aircraft which resulted in the arrest of the cargo it carried.

Some Turkish media reports stated that there were parts for radio stations used for military purposes, while NTV television channel said there was an object which could be a part of a missile.

A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Russian embassy in Ankara asked the Turkish Foreign Ministry to explain the incident.

There were 17 Russian nationals among 30 passengers on board of the aircraft, the ministry source said.

Tensions between Turkey and Syria boiled over last Wednesday when a mortar round apparently fired from Syria killed five civilians in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.

Turkey responded with artillery strikes against targets in violence-wracked Syria and the Turkish parliament authorised the government to order more strikes as necessary.

Though Damascus apologised over the incident, Turkish and Syrian artillery exchanged fire a number of times over the ensuing six days.

IANS



First Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 09:33

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