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Turkish Air Force compels Syrian civilian jet to land in Ankara

October 10, 2012, 23:05 UTC+3
"All civilian flights in Syrian airspace have been stopped since it is no more safe," the ministry claimed in a statement
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, October 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Turkish Air Force has compelled a Syrian civilian jet to land at Ankara's Esenboga airport, the national media said quoting the Defense Ministry.

"All civilian flights in Syrian airspace have been stopped since it is no more safe," the ministry claimed in a statement.

The landing was assisted by military jets, the Hurriyet Daily News portal said.

In the meantime, Al Jazeera Arabic news channel said the Syrian Airlines jet was en route from Moscow and the Turkish authorities decided to force it to land on the suspicions that it might be carrying some weaponry aboard.

It quoted Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister as saying that the plane was forced to land because of information that it may be carrying "non-civilian cargo".

He claimed Turkey had acted within its rights under international law to investigate civilian planes suspected to be carrying military materials.

Non-state television channels indicated there might be 35 passengers aboard the Syrian jet.

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