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article imageTurkey claims to have found munitions aboard Syrian airliner

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By Paul Iddon     Oct 11, 2012 in World
Turkey claims that the Syrian Airlines passenger flight that the Turkish Air Force intercepted in Turkish air space was carrying military hardware from Moscow.
Financial Times reports that the flight was intercepted by Turkish F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters that forced the plane to land at Ankara airport. Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as stating that the plane was brought down after the Turkish government were given intelligence that it was carrying "certain equipment in breach of civil aviation rules."
He firmly stated that Turkey would do its utmost to prevent "weapons transfers to a regime that brutally massacres civilians."
Equipment considered to be of a military nature has reportedly been seized upon discovery and the aircraft is reportedly soon to leave with its passengers. Turkey has banned Turkish flights from entering Syrian airspace because it fears for their safety.
According to reports in the Turkish media, the plane was carrying among other things, missile parts.
The NY Times has accordingly reported these developments. It quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry official stating that he believes this incident will lead to tension in the relationship between Russia and Turkey. The two states have very divergent stances with regard to the situation on the ground in Syria. Moscow maintains its relationship with the Assad regime whilst Assad's Syria has been a longtime Russian ally in the region. Turkey however has taken the western, Arab League and NATO line on Syria, as well as supporting opposition to the Assad regime.
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