DAMASCUS, (SANA)_Foreign and Expatriates Ministry stressed that "In relation to the Turkish authorities which forced a Syrian civilian plane to land in Ankara Airport and searched it before allowing it to take off, there were no prohibited goods onboard.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Ministry said that the Syrian plane took off from Moscow Airport yesterday at 14:26 pm with a number of Syrian and Russian passengers onboard. After entering the Turkish air space, and at 17:20 pm, the Turkish authorities addressed the pilot to modify the GPS data and gave him illogical GPS that is different from the pre-set flight course. Then, suddenly and without warning, the pilot noticed that Turkish warplanes accompanied him and forced him to land in Ankara Airport. After landing, nobody approached the plane till two hours later.
Passengers were asked to go to the waiting hall after which the Turkish security authorities subjected the plane to search and assaulted the plane crew, not to mention locking the contents of the plane for long hours, in addition to having reservations on some contents for inspection. The Syrian plane arrived in Damascus Airport today at dawn.
It is a must here to clarify the fact that the plane contents were already listed on the bill of lading and the payload, the ministry said, adding that the plane was carrying no weapons or prohibited goods in accordance with the unblemished international reputation of the Syrian Arab Airlines.
The ministry added that the Syrian government calls upon the Turkish authorities to return the rest of the plane's contents intact.
The ministry said there might be articles in the international laws and agreements that allow a state to search planes passing through its airspace, but the problem is the Turkish government's flagrant violation of these laws and agreements through forcing the plane to land despite the fact that the pilot did not refuse to modify the flight course which exposed the safety of the plane and the passengers to threats because of the sudden appearance of the Turkish warplanes without warning, not to mention the inhuman locking the civilian passengers for many hours and assaulting the crew.
The ministry considered the hostile Turkish behavior an additional evidence on the aggressive policy adopted by Erdogan's government taking into account the training, harboring and facilitating infiltration through its borders and bombing the Syrian territories.
The Ministry concluded that despite the condemned hostile behavior of the Turkish government, this will not affect our commitment to the friendship relations between the Syrian and Turkish peoples which are greater and much more important than any government.
Foreign and Expatriates Ministry: Media Reports on the Syrian Air Force Intercepting a Turkish Commercial Plane Baseless
The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that some media reports claiming that the Syrian air force intercepted on Thursday a Turkish commercial plane that took off from Beirut and crossed the Syrian airspace are completely baseless.
The ministry said in a statement that the Syrian authorities did not intercept any Turkish civilian or commercial plane.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman: Statements of Erdogan and Davutoglu on Syrian Plane Carrying Ammunition or "Illegal Cargo" Untrue
Foreign and Expatriates Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi underlined that the statements of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Foreign Minister Ahemt Davutoglu claiming that the Syrian plane was carrying ammunition of "illegal cargo" are categorically untrue.
In a statement on Thursday, Makdissi added that those statements uncover the fact of the Turkish authorities' involvement in the piracy on the plane which was flying from Moscow to Damascus.
Information Ministry: Syrian Plane Carried No Ammunition or Military Equipment
The Information Ministry on Thursday stressed that the Syrian plane which was forced by the Turkish warplanes to land in Ankara did not carry any ammunition or military equipment.
In a statement, the Ministry said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement in which he claimed that the Syrian plane carried ammunition and an 'illegal' cargo lack credibility, adding that he should show the equipment and ammunition to prove what he said before his people.