World Bulletin / News Desk
A Syrian plane detained by Turkey en route from Moscow to Damascus because of suspicions it was carrying military equipment was carrying no Russian weapons, a source in a Russian arms exporting agency told Interfax on Thursday.
"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.
Russia has been one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's biggest allies, blocking three U.N. Security Council resolutions meant to pile pressure on him while selling his armed forces nearly $1 billion in arms last year.
The arms source said Moscow has not stopped its arms exports to Damascus, despite mixed signals from Russia over whether it has continued to supply Syria with weapons since the worsening of violence between rebels and forces loyal to Assad.
"If we needed to send any kind of military-technical equipment or arms it would have been carried out properly and not through any illegal means, certainly not on a civilian aircraft," the source said.
President Vladimir Putin said in June that Russia does not send Syria weapons that could be used in a civil conflict.
Russia demanded an explanation from Turkish authorities for the interception of the plane which took off from Moscow's Vnukovo Airport on Wednesday, Interfax cited a Russia Foreign Ministry source as saying on Thursday.
Turkish newspapers cover President Erdogan’s criticism of the EU as well as the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba.
Turkey and Iran both have the political will to fight terrorism, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said in Tehran.
Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation to receive $1.2 billion from Turkey's Central Bank to meet payments by end of year
President Erdogan has invited a controversial U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen to Turkey to join his alleged team that was detained in a probe
Petroleum Pipeline Corporation to receive $1.2 billion from Turkey's central bank to meet payments by end of year.
Only Turkey and the Dominican Republic lack an official emblem – now Turkish MPs want to find a new coat of arms.
Quran printer's launch of Ottoman Turkish keyboard attracts considerable attention, as language to be required in high schools
Turkey's national air carrier to increase flights from Manchester to Istanbul, following high demand.
A 17-year-old boy was shot dead during armed clashes between police and assailants in southeast Turkey overnight and one police officer was wounded
Most newspapers covered latest developments in ongoing investigation of "parallel structure"
Police launch rescue operation after fishing boat destroyed in high winds on Marmara Sea.
A Chinese tourist has been killed in a hot air balloon crash in the central Turkish touristic area of Cappadocia
Eighteen still under arrest in the operation against the "parallel state" with alleged links to U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.
Despite recent exchanges of criticism, EU calls cooperation with Turkey 'crucial.'
The Turkish lira lost almost 3 percent against both the US dollar and the euro