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

  • Ken Macaulay

    Some good articles on this at:

    Turkey forces Syrian plane to land in Ankara
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9600178/Turkey-forces-Syrian-plane-to-land-in-Ankara.html

    Seem to be conflicting claims from the Turks:
    “…cargo believed to be missile parts were seized. Other reports stated that military communications devices were seized. The plane was awaiting Ankara’s approval to take off again with its 35 passengers.

    “We received information that the plane’s cargo did not comply with rules of civil aviation,” said Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister.

    There was information that it might be carrying “certain equipment in breach of civil aviation rules”,..”

    Turkey’s ammunition claim on Syria plane ‘lies’ – Damascus
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19918858

    Turkish seizure of Syrian plane is gambit targeted at Russia
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9601180/Turkish-seizure-of-Syrian-plane-is-gambit-targeted-at-Russia.html

  • Mo

    Well we have to wait for a demonstration!

  • zazuge

    well finally the Russians admitted that they’ve sent parts for Radar used in missile defence on the plane
    I wonder if that’s all there is or there are other more stuff delivered that Russian gov kept silence on
    any country have the right to check anything that passe in here terrotorial space by water air or land and seize anything that it deems Ilegal
    now its clear why Russia was bitching along syria of pyschologica scares or other bullshit
    there turks can say “yeah there is no arms embargo, but don’t send your shit over our territory!”

  • Ken Macaulay

    Shipping radar parts does comply with rules of civil aviation. They are not on the proscribed list, there are no reporting requirements, & provide no danger to the passengers.

    Forcing down a plane with military jets is a serious business. Add in the passengers held without any form of representation & diplomats refused the right of being allowed to see them…

    This is likely to open the Turks up to major compensation claims by the passengers & the airline.
    I would be very interested to see what comes out in such a lawsuit…