Turkey scrambles fighter jets to intercept a Syrian passenger plane, but allows it to continue to Damascus after seizing cargo.
Turkish people do not understand what their own state is doing . An effort to increase the voltage of the Turkish government in Syria has become an incomprehensible situation. No one wants a war with Syria in Turkey, but last night there was a new event to carry the tension up to the hill .
Two military planes escorted the Damascus-bound Airbus A-320, carrying around 30 passengers, into the airport in Ankara.
The plane, which was en route from Moscow, was suspected of carrying military equipment.
It was later given the green light to continue its journey after some of its cargo was confiscated.
“There is illegal cargo on the plane that should have been reported,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
It is unclear exactly what was alleged to have been on board, or what has been seized.
Turkey’s NTV news channel said it was believed to be missile parts, while state-run TRT channel speculated it could be communications equipment.
The Russian embassy in Ankara has already contacted the government, demanding an explanation for the forced landing, according to the Interfax news agency.
Russia is one of President Bashar al Assad’s closest remaining allies and has blocked tougher UN resolutions against Damascus.
Following the forced landing, Turkey warned its airline companies against using Syrian airspace to avoid a possible retaliation.
The warning briefly interrupted Turkish air traffic, with planes changing routes to avoid the Syrian skies.
More than 18 months into the battle for Syria, an estimated 30,000 people are dead and the country is still locked in civil war.
Tensions between Turkey and Syria have been running high in recent days, with sporadic fire exchanges at the border since last Wednesday.
Last week, a Syrian shell hit a Turkish border town, killing five civilians – two women and three children.
The deadly incident triggered retaliation fire from Turkish artillery units at the border, which has been increasingly fortified by scores of anti-aircraft batteries since the shelling.
It also brought on a parliamentary mandate, which is valid for one year, allowing the government to authorise cross-border operations in Syria, and to be used “if needed”.
Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to respond if it was struck again by its neighbour.[adrotate banner=”55″]