Syrian airliner forced to land in Turkey had radios, antennae, missile parts and ammunition on board

Oct 11 2012 - 4 Comments
By Richard Clements

The Syrian Air Airbus 320 that was forced to land near Ankara, in Turkey on Wednesday Oct. 10 by Turkish Air Force F-16s was carrying ammunition. Probably.

Hurriyet daily news has quoted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying “A Russian arms exporting agency was the sender and the receiver was the Syrian Defense Ministry. The material has been confiscated and is being examined”

Erdogan went on to say “Carrying such materials through our airspace is against international rules.”

The Guardian Newspaper put a little more detail on what ammunition was found on the jet, the Turkish authorities found radios, antennae and what is thought to be missile parts along with normal ammunition. Syria has condemned the action by Turkey and branded it ‘Piracy’ and said that the passengers were in “a very bad psychological state” after their nine-hour stay in Turkey.

The Guardian quoted Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko as saying “We had no cargo on that aeroplane, we always deliver our weapons in full compliance with international norms. Sending weapons on a passenger aeroplane breaks about every law there is.”

There is no actual arms embargo on Syria mainly due to objections by Russia and China at the UN. Russia in particular has attempted to deliver renovated helicopters on several occasions with one shipment turned back whilst off the coast of Scotland during the summer.

The Guardian has also quoted Ruslan Aliyev who is an analyst at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, a Moscow based consultancy who said: “Russia is not interested in escalating the conflict in Syria. Secretly delivering weapons to Syria would put at risk Russia’s image and reputation and (Vladimir) Putin’s personal reputation. No Russian leader would go on such a risky venture.”

Further details of this incident will be forthcoming, The Aviationist will report them when they come to light.

Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com

Image credit: AP