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.
TK1759 was carrying 170 passengers and seven crew members to Lisbon, the spokeswoman said on condition her name was not used.
Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday in Istanbul’s main courthouse on Wednesday to pay tribute to the prosecutor who was killed by a radical group.
Gunman stormed local office of ruling AK Party in Istanbul.
29 people have been arrested for having alleged links to armed leftist group DHKP-C.
Two armed people entered an office of Turkey's ruling AK Party in an Istanbul suburb on Wednesday, the private Dogan news agency reported, a day after leftist militants took a prosecutor hostage in a courthouse in the city.
The Turkish prosecutor who was held hostage at the Istanbul courthouse has passed away in hospital.
A retrial of the Sledghammer case began on Nov. 3, 2014, after the Constitutional Court ruled in June 2014 unanimously that the convicted suspects’ rights were violated concerning “digital data and the defendants’ testimonies.”
Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz says the joint Turkish-US train-and-equip program for 'vetted' Syrian fighters can start in May.
Security to top agenda at aviation conference on Wednesday in Istanbul.
Power outage in most of Turkey occurred after problems in transmission lines, Turkish Electricity Transmission Company, TEIAS officials say.
Turkey's national flag-carrier says it has cancelled flights because of political turmoil in Yemen.
A Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Sao Paulo makes emergency landing in Casablanca.
President Erdogan has said that he plans to visit Iran but will be watching the developments in Yemen
Turkish dailies on Monday focused on the main opposition CHP party's interal primary elections.
The 300-million Turkish lira vessel will serve for at least 30 years.