Turkey scrambled two F-16 warplanes to intercept an Iranian cargo plane, which was en-route to Syria. The cargo plane was forced to land in Turkey's southeastern Diyarbakir airport for an inspection, Turkish security officials said [AFP, 16 March]. The Turkish government did not give any details on the cargo.
UPDATE: The Iranian cargo plane was freed after being found to have been carrying 150 tons of food, but no “material contrary to international standards.” Turkey’s Anatolia news agency reported that civilian defense teams trained to detect nuclear, biological and chemical materials had conducted the search.
Turkey denies it:
"A Turkish Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday denied that the Turkish military has forced a cargo plane to land on its territory over nuclear weapon warning, saying it was a routine practice."
Nader, it's my understanding the Iranian cargo plane (C-130?) was diverted to DIY/LTCC and that TAF F-16s were put on "standby."
These C-130 flights are not uncommon. They were known to occur during the 33-Day war.
AFP corresponden on the scene at Diyarbakir airport, where the Iranian plane landed, quoted the airport security officials that the plane was intercepted by TAF F-16th, en route to Syrian city of Aleppo, for inspection. That's how the new broke t first. Then the Turkish foreign ministry said the plane was not forced to land, it stopped at Diyarbakir as part of a routine inspection. Then the same airport security officials said the aircraft was "ordered" to land at Diyarbakir and the air force put two F16s on standby if the Iranians did not obey the order.
These three versions taken together point to an extraordinary inspection, something that does not happen every day. the Turks must have their reasons to inspect this particular airplane, and at least putting two fighters on standby.
The min point is we don't know what those planes were carrying, and we might never know, as the Turks are unlikely to disclose the info publicly. But we'll check the news for any new development.
Turkey frees detained Iran cargo plane,nothing illegal found:
Where is the problem when Iran sends weapons to Syria? Is this something illegal?
What kind of reasons should Turkey have?
I think Turkey is playing a double game in supporting the Israelis efforts to portray an atmosphere of unsecurity because of the revolutions going in the ME. There are better ways to deliver weaponry to Gaza then this kind of obvious ways.
You are naking a storm out of nothing. The plane was carrying food and was allowed to carry on after inspection.
This is not really news worth fussing about.
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