Turkey grounds Syrian-bound plane

Nov. 8, 2012 at 7:22 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Turkey grounded a Syria-bound cargo plane suspected of carrying weapons early Thursday to combat the arms flow to Syria, officials said.

The Armenian plane, said to be carrying humanitarian aid to Syria, was forced to land in Erzurum in eastern Turkey shortly after 6 a.m., officials told Today's Zaman,

Turkish military ammunition experts and police with canine units searched the plane. All aid packages were to be X-rayed, the Hurriyet Daily News said.

The incident came less than a month after another Armenian plane headed for Syria was grounded on similar suspicions, Turkish media reports said. It was later given an all clear and permitted to continue its flight to Aleppo.

In recent months Ankara has stepped up efforts to prevent its airspace from being used to supply the Syrian regime. Also last month Turkey grounded a Russian plane it said carried arms for President Bashar Assad's forces.

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