Arab Today, arab today syria slams turkey\s grounding of civilian airplane
Last Updated : GMT 05:10:13
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Syria slams Turkey\'s grounding of civilian airplane

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Syria slams Turkey\'s grounding of civilian airplane

Damascus - XINHUA

After a week full of tension on the Turkish-Syrian borders over the cross fire between both sides, Syria broke the silence on Thursday and lashed out at the Turkish government after a Syrian civilian plane was grounded a day earlier in Turkey amid testimonies that the Turks attacked the plane crew. Syria\'s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jihad Makdissi regarded the Turkish latest move as \"flagrant violation\" of pertaining international laws and conventions. On Wednesday, a Syrian passenger plane was forced to land by Turkish F-16s in the Turkish capital of Ankara on over intelligence that the plane was carrying some military equipment from Moscow, Syria\'s main international ally. However, Syria dismissed the Turkish claims as Moscow has also asked Ankara for clarification over grounding the plane. The recent incident casts oil to the fire between both countries after their relationship hit a new low last week following mutual cross-border firing. Meanwhile, Makdissi said the Turkish action had endangered the plane\'s safety and the passengers\' lives, adding that this step was \"unjustified.\" \"This hostile and deplorable Turkish action is an addition indication of the aggressive policy espoused by\" the Turkish government, he said, adding that the plane crew was manhandled by Turks and the passengers have been held onboard in an \"inhuman way. \" He stressed that all the plane\'s contents were listed on the lading bill and in full detail, noting that the plane did not carry any kind of weapons or any prohibited goods. Makdissi also called on the Turkish government to resend the full contents of the plane, following the reports that \"military materials\" were detected during the Turkish investigation. For her side, Ghaidaa Abdul-Latif, the general manager of the Syrian Civil Aviation Agecy, chided Thursday the Turkish action, saying that \"We, in the name of all employees at the aviation agency, would file a formal complaint to the Turkish authorities and to Turkish aviation agency ... and also to the world aviation organization.\" Abdul-Latif said the Turks now have the packages which contain electrical equipment, and \"we have the catalogues and the documents. If they have anything otherwise, they have to prove it. \" She said the crew was surprised by a strange object hovering around the plane and it was turned out to be an F-16 military Turkish jet that forced the plane to land. \"This action is contrary to the rules, because the pilot should be first asked to land for inspecting ... In case he refused, military jets would then fly to force him to land,\" she said. She added that the Turkish jets had jeopardized the lives of the 26 passengers. Meanwhile, an engineer at the Syrian Airlines, Haitham Kasser, who was aboard the Syrian plane, said the Turks had attacked the crew \"by guns, handcuffed us and forced us to lie on the packages. \" Kasser said the Turkish authorities had precisely inspected the packages which contain electrical equipment. The plane\'s incident added more complications to the already- deteriorating relations between both governments after the Turkish army bombarded on some targets in Syria over the past week in retaliation to the Syrian shelling of a Turkish border town that killed five civilians during clashes between Syrian army and rebels on border towns. Earlier in the day, the state-run al-Thwara daily accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of \"playing with fire\" and called on Western countries and the Turkish people to work to curb his \"impulsiveness and follies.\" In an editorial on Thursday, the paper said the recent cries by the Turkish government reflect its \"clear-cut intentions to play with fire and openly,\" adding that Erdogan works to wage battles and drag his country to open-ended battles. \"It\'s obvious that the West and America are using Erdogan\'s government as a key tool in their project to rearrange the region . ..\" The \"costs of the Western cover for any new war in the region politically and militarily would go beyond the capabilities of Europe, which is go(ing) down in the Euro crisis, while Washington is apparently not ready, at least from the political side, to shoulder at the current time the fallouts and burdens\" of any war. In a related development on Thursday, Syrian Foreign Ministry denied media reports about Syrian Air Forces\' interception of a commercial Turkish plane, saying such news are \"baseless and absolutely untrue.\" In a statement carried by Syria\'s state-run SANA news agency, the Foreign Ministry said Syria did not intercepted any commercial or military planes.

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