ISTANBUL - Turkey ordered an Armenian aircraft flying to Syria to land and searched its cargo on Thursday, local media reported, the second such move by Ankara in a month designed to prevent its airspace being used to supply the Syrian military.
The cargo plane was being searched in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum in a previously agreed step, as in mid-October when another Armenian plane was allowed to continue its journey after confirmation it was carrying humanitarian aid as stated.Broadcaster NTV said the plane ordered to land on Thursday was also reportedly carrying humanitarian aid and the search was continuing. The reports could not immediately be confirmed.
Turkey has become increasingly assertive in challenging Syrian President Bashar Assad amid growing tensions along the border. It banned Syrian aircraft from its airspace in October after saying it found Russian munitions believed to be destined for Syria's armed forces on board a Syrian plane.