Russia’s foreign minister suggested on Sunday that Turkey’s grounding of a Syrian jet en route from Moscow to Damascus last week will not harm ties between Moscow and Ankara, state-run Russian news agency RIA reported.
A Syrian Air Airbus A320 travelling from Moscow to Syria’s capital was intercepted by F16 jets as it entered Turkish airspace and escorted to Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport on Wednesday after Turkey received intelligence that it was carrying military supplies destined for Syria’s defense ministry.
Some of the plane’s cargo was seized in Turkey before it was allowed to continue its trip. Officials gave no details regarding what was confiscated, saying investigations were underway. The plane was carrying about 30 passengers, including the 17 Russians.
Russia has responded harshly to the interception of the Syrian Air Airbus 320 plane, demanding an explanation and accusing the Turkish authorities of endangering the lives of passengers. The Syrian regime, which has been accusing Turkey of supporting “terrorists” in its territory for months, furiously demanded that Turkey return the cargo it had seized at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport.
The Turkish side, on the other hand, defied the accusations from Russian and Syrian sides. Speaking late on Thursday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the Syrian plane, intercepted by Turkish F-16 jets as it entered Turkish airspace and was escorted to Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport on Wednesday, was carrying Russian-made ammunitions destined for Syria’s defense ministry.