October 12, 2012 - 11:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Moscow-Damascus passenger jet grounded by Turkey carried technical elements for Syrian air defense radars, which did not require special reporting, the Russian business daily Kommersant said on Friday, Oct 12, citing sources.
Turkish F-16 fighter jets forced down the Syrian Air Airbus A320 carrying 35 passengers some three hours after it had taken off from Moscow's Vnukovo international airport on Wednesday.
Turkey eventually permitted the A320 to resume its flight after a five-hour inspection of the aircraft that resulted in the seizure of a number of items.
Russia expressed a thinly veiled protest on Thursday at the grounding of its plane by Turkish authorities over accusations it was carrying "illegal cargo."
“We are concerned that the life and security of the passengers, including 17 Russian nationals, was endangered,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday, adding that Turkey had not informed Russia that its nationals were on board and that Russian embassy officials and doctors had been denied access to the plane.
“Russia insists on an explanation of such behavior with regard to the Russian nationals and demands that measures be taken to prevent any such incidents happening in the future,” he said, RIA Novosti reported.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the intercepted plane was carrying Russian-made military gear and ammunition destined for the Syrian military, but Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the jet had no weapons or banned cargoes on board.