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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Russians furious over Turkish detention of Syrian Air flight from Moscow

Russia has demanded an explanation from Turkey after Turkish fighter jets forced a Syrian civilian airliner on a flight from Moscow to Damascus to land in Ankara for eight hours on Wednesday. The Turks were suspicious that the plane was carrying weapons for Bashar al-Assad's forces. In fact, it was carrying communications equipment with possible military uses, but not weapons.
The [Russian foreign] ministry said that Turkish authorities refused to grant Russian diplomatic staff access to 17 Russian citizens on board during the eight hours that the flight was held up because of suspicions the aircraft was carrying military equipment. However a source in a Russian arms exporting agency told Interfax on Thursday it was carrying no Russian weapons.
"The Russian side is insisting on an explanation of the reasons for such actions by the Turkish authorities," the statement said. It said that "the lives and safety of the passengers were placed under threat" by the incident.
"Neither weapons nor any kind of systems or parts for military equipment were on board or could have been on board," the news agency quoted the source as saying on condition of anonymity.
Military jets escorted the Damascus-bound Airbus A-320, carrying about 30 passengers from Moscow, into Ankara airport late on Wednesday after Turkey received intelligence that it was carrying military supplies.
Parts of the cargo were seized in Turkey before the passenger jet continued its trip. No details were given of its contents, although Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper reported that 12 parcels on board the plane contained communications devices with possible military dimensions. Turkey's Today's Zaman claimed that some of the parts seized could be used in missiles.
In those days, after four years in which the world's only superpower degraded itself, there was no effective superpower, and therefore every country acted as it pleased (cf. Judges 21:25).

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