Turkey is defending its decision to intercept a Syrian-bound plane that it says was carrying military equipment and ammunition destined for Syria’s government.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Syrian-bound passenger jet, travelling from Moscow to Damascus earlier this week, was carrying illicit cargo provided by a Russian supplier. Erdogan did not elaborate on where Turkey received the intelligence or who in Russia had provided the materials.
Syrian officials have denied the plane was carrying any military cargo. Russia, a top ally of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, demanded an explanation from Turkey, saying its actions threatened the lives and safety of the passengers on board.
The Syrian Air flight was intercepted by fighter jets late Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara. The plane was allowed to complete its trip to Syria early Thursday without the cargo.
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