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.
Von der Leyen expresses regret for cancellation of German lawmakers' visit to Turkish base
Istanbul police were searching for 51 FETÖ suspects charged with financially supporting the extreme group
- Turkish forces kill 3 PKK extremists in Hakkari province, military says
Governorship says seven people were slightly injured after assailant shot at coaches in Turkish capital
A crackdown on those linked to Erdogan has seen the arrest of 28 people in a number of cities across the country
The Turkish military has bombed positions of PKK terrorist group in Iraq's Hakurk region and Turkey's southeastern provinces
Turkish president and the leader of Palestinian group talk about resolving disagreements between Palestinians
“European countries remain incapable of solving ongoing problems. That's why Turkey should be a member of the union,” Turkey's EU minister says
PKK terrorists have attacked Turkish troops in southeastern Hakkari and Mardin provinces
The 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals in Ankara has ruled that the proceedings against former President, Military Officer Kenan Evren and Tahsin Sahinkaya, a Turkish Air Force Commander, were to be dropped due to the defendants' death and that their defence, while alive, was invalid.
Pascale Moreau says UN 'appreciates' Ankara's work with refugees but calls for political solutions to the crisis
Turkey may ask the public whether it should continue its EU bid if accession talks do not move forward, says foreign minister.
Four suspects, including a mayor, in southeastern Turkey face life imprisonment for reportedly allowing PKK extremists use state-owned machines in attacks.
Turkish Foreign Ministry describes reports of phosphorus bombs and incendiary cluster munitions as 'extremely worrying'
PKK extremist have been killed following an exchange of fire with Turkish gendarme forces in Elazig province
Turkey is blocking plans by a senior German delegation to visit the Incirlik air base, German officials have said.