Russia has demanded an explanation from Turkish authorities about why they forced a Syrian passenger jet to land in Ankara.
Officials suspected the aircraft with 35 passengers on board was carrying weapons, and they say illegal cargo items have been found. Turkey’s Transport Minister, Binali Yildirim, explained the reasons for forcing the Syrian Airlines aircraft to land for an inspection were to guarantee the use of the country’s airspace for solely peaceful means.
Some Turkish media have reported that pieces of missiles were found along with other military equipment. An official confirmation has not been made. A source in a Russian arms exporting agency, however, said that no weapons were on board or could have been on board the aircraft.
Tensions have been high since five Turkish civilians were killed by Syrian mortar fire last week in the boreder town of Akçakale.