Turkey lets Syrian plane take off

A Syria-bound passenger aircraft, which was forced to land in Ankara over suspicion that it was carrying prohibited cargo, has been allowed to resume its journey.

Turkey has allowed the Syria-bound passenger aircraft to resume its course, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a TV channel.

On Wednesday, Turkish F-16 fighter jets forced the Airbus A320, flying from Moscow to Damascus, to land over suspicion that it had prohibited cargo on board.

The permission to resume its journey was issued following a five-hour inspection of the aircraft which resulted in the seizure of the cargo it carried.

Some Turkish media reports stated that there were parts for radio stations used for military purposes, while NTV television channel said there was an object which could be a part of a missile.

A source in the Russian foreign ministry said that the Russian embassy in Ankara asked the Turkish foreign ministry to explain the incident.

There were 17 Russian nationals among 30 passengers on board of the aircraft, the ministry source said. 

Tensions between Turkey and Syria boiled over last Wednesday when a mortar round apparently fired from Syria killed five civilians in the Turkish border town of Akcakale.
Turkey responded with artillery strikes against targets in violence-wracked Syria and the Turkish parliament authorised the government to order more strikes as necessary.

Though Damascus apologised for the incident, Turkish and Syrian artillery exchanged fire a number of times over the ensuing six days.

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