Turkey denies accusations over held Syria plane: Foreign ministry
Ankara took all measures to ensure the safety of the passengers of a Syrian plane intercepted en route from Moscow to Damascus, the Turkish foreign ministry said to refute criticism of its handling of the incident.
"There is no basis for the concerns that the safety of the passengers and the plane might have been compromised," during the forced landing of the Syrian plane, the ministry said following attacks from Moscow and Damascus.
Syria accuses Turkey of 'hostile' behaviour over plane
Damascus accused Ankara today of "hostile" behaviour over a Syrian Air plane after it was intercepted by Turkish authorities en route from Moscow to Damascus and forced to land in Ankara, AFP reported.
The interception of the plane on Wednesday was "hostile and reprehensible behaviour" and "another sign of the hostile policies of the Erdogan government, which harbours (rebels) and bombs Syrian territory," the foreign ministry said, referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Syria's transport minister accused Turkey today of "air piracy" after Turkish fighter planes forced down a Syrian passenger jet flying from Russia to Damascus, according to Lebanon's al-Manar Television, Reuters reported.
The channel quoted minister Mahmoud Said as saying the move amounted to "air piracy which contradicts civil aviation treaties."
Syria said today a Damascus-bound plane forced to land in Ankara by Turkish fighter jets while en route from Moscow had been carrying legitimate cargo.
"The plane was not carrying any illegal material," Ghaida Abdulatif, head of Syrian Arab Airlines, told reporters in Damascus. "When the plane was inspected it was clear that there were ... civilian packages with electrical equipment which are allowed to be transported and had been officially registered."
Turkey violating international civil aviation regulations, says Syrian official
Turkey violated international civil aviation regulations when it forced a Syrian airplane to land in Ankara yesterday, Jayda Abdullatif, head of Syria Civil Aviation, told Russian broadcaster Russia Today, daily Hürriyet has reported.
Passengers waited for five hours and 25 minutes on the plane, the Syrian official reportedly said, adding that most of the passengers were elderly, women or children.
The plane was only transporting civilians and their luggage, Abdullatif added.
Syria will file a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization and other aviation organizations, according to reports.
Turkey forced the plane to land on suspicions that the airliner was carrying weapons destined for the Syrian government.