Turkish PM: Syrian Plane Carrying Russian Weapons
(CNSNews.com) – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a Syrian jet liner intercepted by Turkish forces was carrying Russian-made arms, something he said civilian aircraft could not do.
“This was equipment and ammunition that was being sent from a Russian agency,” Erdogan said at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on Thursday.
“This was munitions from the Russian equivalent of our Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation being sent to the Syrian Defense Ministry,” he continued, referring to Turkey’s state-run military weapons manufacturer.
Turkish authorities detained the plane Tuesday after it had been intercepted by Turkish military jets over Turkish airspace, reported BBC News. The plane was travelling from Moscow to Syria before being forced to land.
Turkish authorities seized the plane’s cargo but allowed it to continue to its destination. Erdogan said it was “absolutely clear” who the cargo was destined for.
“It is absolutely clear who sent the cargo and who was going to receive it,” he said.
Russia is not a signatory to the international arms embargo on Syria. Turkey and Syria have exchanged artillery fire across their shared border in recent days as tensions in the region continue to boil over amid Syria’s ongoing civil war.