ANKARA - Turkey has received no formal query from Russia about its interception of a Syrian plane en route from Moscow to Damascus with Russian passengers on board, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was demanding an explanation from the Turkish authorities after Ankara forced the plane to land late on Wednesday on suspicion that it was carrying military equipment. Moscow accused Ankara of endangering Russian lives.
Meanwhile, Syria responded that the Damascus-bound plane had been carrying legitimate cargo.
"The plane was not carrying any illegal material," Ghaida Abdulatif, head of Syrian Arab Airlines, told reporters in Damascus. "When the plane was inspected it was clear that there were ... civilian packages with electrical equipment which are allowed to be transported and had been officially registered."